Long Island Children’s Museum

Visitor Activity Packet

SIMPLE MACHINES, PLEASE Thank you for choosing the Long Island Children’s Museum! We have created this packet to help your family prepare to learn about simple machines. It contains pre-visit activities to do with your family to generate excitement for the performance and prepare you for your visit. There are also post-visit activities that can be used to reinforce the ideas that would be explored during this Museum trip. The information and activities in this packet are aligned with the Learning Standards of New York State as they relate to The Arts (Standards I, II and IV), English Language Arts (Standards I, II, III, and IV), Career Development (Standards I and II), and Math, Science, Technology (Standards I, III, IV, V and VI).

11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530 • (516) 224-5800 • www.licm.org

The Show… Simple Machines, Please is a highly interactive, sciencethemed performance that explores the impact six simple machines make on our daily lives. It encourages our audience to learn about simple machines while participating fully in this theatrical presentation. This performance is an adaptation of the regular visit that the museum presents to schools. Here science and engineering is combined as we introduce the concept of how things work.

Things to look for when you come… In the Performance: • Try to find all the examples of simple machines in the separate show segments. • Look at all the different media formats that are used to share information about simple machines.

In the Museum:

Before, during and after the show… Before the Show: • Prepare your child/children for what is about to happen: talk to him/her about the type of interactive performance you are about to see. Inform them that at the Museum, and in the theater, they will get the opportunity to touch, try, explore, pretend, wonder, investigate and observe by using their senses. • Do not bring food or beverages into the Theater (bottled water is permitted). • Please turn off or silence cell phones when entering the Theater. This makes the experience enjoyable for everyone.

During the Show: • The LICM Theater encourages audience interaction in most of our shows. This show is no exception. The audience would be asked to participate. We ask however, that the audience remain seated until prompted by the actors to enter the stage area or respond to questions. • If you are invited onto the stage, please use the stairs and the “magic” bridges located on the sides of the stage. Please do not jump up or down from the front edge of the stage. • We know that young children are curious and will want to ask you questions during the performance—feel free to talk quietly with your child. • The use of recording and/or photographic equipment is strictly prohibited.

The ToolBox gallery, on the first floor of the museum, highlights the tools that we use everyday to assist us with our tasks. Keep an eye out for those six simple machines! Bricks & Sticks, on the second floor, is another cool gallery to explore as you continue your discovery of simple machines. Look for the wedge as you construct cool creations! Also on the second floor, Communication Station is the place to be if you want to experience both radio and television broadcasting. Have fun being the host of your own show! The new KEVA exhibit (on the first floor) should also be explored. Building Boom with KEVA® planks encourages you to conceive, then build the design project of your dreams – bridges, skyscrapers, castles, airplanes, trestles, spirals and more. This new exhibit brings out the designer, architect and engineer in each of us as you problem solve and think in three dimension. This travelling exhibit will be at the museum until January 6, 2013.

Simple Machines to the Rescue! Have you ever heard the term ‘’simple machines?” Children often think a simple machine is larger than a tool or must be plugged in. The job of a machine, whether simple or complex, is to accomplish work more easily by somehow transforming energy or motion. To put it another way, machines help you get a job done with less effort. A simple machine is a tool that helps make work easier; it reduces the amount of force we need to use. No one knows for sure who invented the six simple machines, but they have been traced back to prehistoric times. Simple machines have a minimal amount of moving parts. I’ll bet you use simple machines everyday! There are six simple machines: the inclined plane, wedge, wheel and axle, screw, lever and pulley.

• Keep aisles clear per fire safety regulations and in case of emergency.

After the Show: • Continue your exploration of simple machines in the museum! Simple Machines, Please Activity Packet | Long Island Children’s Museum


The Six Simple Machines:

Pre-visit Activities…

Inclined plane—A slope, a force pushes the load up or down the slope, e.g. stairs

Love My Lever! Activity Goal: Children explore the lever as a simple machine that makes work easier. Materials: • A 12-inch (30cm) ruler

Wedge—has a narrow edge and a wide edge, the narrow edge cuts a small gap and the wide edge makes it larger, e.g. teeth, knife

• A pencil • 10 pennies (newer ones work best—the weight is more uniform) • A level desk top or table

Wheels and axles— A wheel is round and an axle is a rod that goes through the center of the wheel, i.e. Windmill, doorknob Screw—A rod with a spiral around it, screw hold things together, e.g. light bulb, cookie jar

Lever—A lever has a bar that moves and a fulcrum that stays in place. You put a force on one end of the lever and the other part lifts the load. Has anyone ever been on a seesaw before? A seesaw is a lever. A fishing pole is also a lever. The fulcrum is the handle you hold—it stays in place. The pole bends and the fish (the load) is lifted.

Procedure: Lay down the pencil flat on the desk and lay the ruler across the pencil so that the two ends balance perfectly. The balance point should be at the mid-way (six inch) mark. Put a stack of five pennies all of the way on one end of the ruler, and another five pennies in a stack at the other end. Since the two piles of pennies are about equal in weight, the ruler should remain balanced. Now ask your children what they think will happen if they take three pennies from one side and add them to the other side. Record their predictions and then have them try it. They should now have eight pennies on one side and two on the other. What happened? Why? This is an example of a lever. Without adding any new weight to either side and without moving the pennies from where they are (eight on one far side, two on the other), try to get the two ends of the ruler to balance. Note—the ruler doesn’t have to be perfectly balanced—it just needs to be at the point where both ends are not touching the table. Hint—focus on the pencil.

Pulley—A wheel and a rope that goes around the wheel, e.g. flagpole

Simple Machines, Please Activity Packet | Long Island Children’s Museum


Vocabulary: • Lever • Balance

Simple Machine Word Search g e e w e v c n c m

w w v e e l y r o o

t e n r r r w o r t

g p w r e e w e e i

w u u o l r d o w o

s l f v s u w e r n

e l m o c o d e o n

l e v e r g e e c o

c y l k e c d v k m

c g n o w f e e k o

Lever Screw Wedge Pulley Work Reduce Force Motion

work. A lot of new inventions are adaptations or improvements of old inventions, like the cellular phone or the electric wheelchair. Applying knowledge of how things work to create practical tools, objects or projects is called technology. Have your children write about their invention. Describes the invention and explain how the invention will make life easier. Your children may want to spend some time brainstorming this topic before starting, so that you don’t have two inventions that do the same thing. Let them make a drawing of the invention and attach it to their description. Have your children brainstorm ideas of how they would actually go about creating their invention for real. What materials would they need? Collect materials, recyclables and found objects for them to construct a model of their invention. Finally, you and your children can work together to locate examples of machine diagrams from home. The instructions provided by manufacturers with bicycles, furniture, kitchen appliances, tools and lawn mowers often contain explanatory diagrams (schematics) to help you understand these machines. Many construction sets such as LEGO® and K’NEX® also have similar kinds of diagrams to help you build particular designs. With these examples, create your own instruction manual for your invention.

Vocabulary: • Invention

Post-visit Activities…

• Inventor

Become an Inventor

• Technology

Activity Goal: Children will better understand the relationship between structure and function by inventing a tool or machine that makes life easier in some way.

• Schematic

Materials: • Paper • Pencils Procedure: An inventor is someone who comes up with a new product, device, or idea that helps accomplish a task or makes something easier to do. Ask your children to think of an invention that would make their life easier. It might be something that helps them eat, move, do homework or play. Discuss the structure of the invention. It’s not easy to talk about how something will look before you decide what it will do! This is what we mean when we say that structure follows function— how something looks usually depends on what it does. Once you decide on what you want something to do, then you can start developing a plan of what it will look like and how it will

Simple Machines Walk Together with your child, take a walk around your neighborhood. Have your child carry a notebook or a camera. Identify different simple machines or observe machines or tools that use different simple machines. Have your child take pictures or draw a picture to make a catalog. As a math connection, have your child create a tally chart to keep track of the number of different simple machines seen on the walk. Which simple machine is most commonly used? When you return home, look around for any simple machines you and your child use in the house. Could you do without them? How would you manage?

Simple Machines, Please Activity Packet | Long Island Children’s Museum


Fun Finds … what simple machines are these?

Simple Machines, Please Activity Packet | Long Island Children’s Museum


Literature Connections…


Here are some fun books to continue your exploration of simple machines: Looking at Simple Machine Series, Helen Frost, Capstone Press, August 2001

Long Island Children’s Museum Theater is the only theater on Long Island presenting performances specifically for family audiences on a year-round basis. It has presented vibrant and engaging performances for families since the Museum opened in 1993 and plays a central role in the range of educational experiences provided to visitors. In 2008, the LICM Theater expanded its role and began producing professional level family theater shows. This role allows the Museum to have artistic control over all shows that are produced at the museum. Scripts are selected that encourage exploration and create personal experiences that children will take with them throughout their lives.

How Do you Lift a Lion?, Robert E. Wells, Albert Whitman & Company, October 31, 1996 Forces and Simple Machines (Science Factory), Jon Richards and Ian Thompson, PowerKids Press, January 30, 2008 The New Way Things Work, David MacCaulay, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; Rev Sub edition, October 26, 1998.

Helpful Websites… http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/simple-machines-games.html http://www.edheads.org/activities/simple-machines/index.shtml http://www.brainpopjr.com/science/forces/simplemachines/grownups.weml http://www.mikids.com/Smachines.htm

We would love to hear from you. You can share your experience at the theater by e-mailing us at [email protected].

LICM public programs and theater performances receive support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and NYSCA ArtWORKS for Young People.

Simple Machines, Please Activity Packet | Long Island Children’s Museum