Simple Machines

Grade 3 SOL

There are six different types of simple machines


A lever is a bar that moves around a fixed point, which is called a fulcrum.

It is used to push, pull or lift things.

Examples: see-saw, shovel, crowbar

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Inclined Plane

An inclined plane is a flat surface that is raised so that one end is higher than the other.

It can help to move heavy objects up or down.

Example: ramp

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A wedge is wide at one end and skinny at the other end.

It is used to help cut or split other objects.

Examples: axe, knife

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Wheel and Axle

A wheel and axle is made up on a rod attached to a wheel.

It makes it easier to turn or move things.

Examples: bicycle wheels, roller skates, door knob

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A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a cone or cylinder.

It is used to hold objects together.

Examples: jar lid, wood screw

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A pulley is a wheel that has a rope wrapped around it.

It is used to lift heavy objects.

Examples: flagpole, zip line

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Compound machines

Compound machines are made up of a combination of two or more machines.

Examples: scissors, wheelbarrow, bicycle