.Machines give real wings to our flights of fancy...Return
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Basic Concepts

Simple Machines


Activities for Students

Activities for Teachers

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Great AHS Engine

The Great AHS Engine Project

Frank Blows His Steam Engine's Whistle
For the past ten or eleven years physics students at Athens High School have designed and tested engines as a part of their unit of study on work, energy, and efficiency. The goal of the project is to engage the students in direct consideration of what an engine is and how it transforms some sort of input energy into useful work. Students have constructed steam engines and water wheels, power boats and wind generators. In so doing they have had to grapple not only with the physics concepts involved but also with the problems of seeing a design through to completion.

In the last several years the students have brought their finished projects to Morrison Elementary School to share with their First Grade Science Buddies in Mrs. Naomi Stork's class. Explaining how their devices work and demonstrating their operation to the first graders prods the physics students to be certain they fully understand the principles of operation themselves.

The links below connect with the various forms used in introducing and assessing the projects.

Project Description

Interim Report Form

Project Assessment Rubric

First Grade Buddies' Report Form

Photo Gallery -- See photos from Simple Machines Day and some examples of student engine projects.

Last updated Thursday, April 04, 2002
© 2002 All rights reserved   Tom Stork
Background adapted from "Design for a flying machine," a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci