Simple Machines

Allaire George, Logan Middle School, Waterloo, IA
School Library Journal
July 2000

[Review of Motion, Energy and Force Series] Each video presents basic vocabulary, definitions, formulas, graphs, reviews and quizzes to teach these concepts. All measurements are calculated using the metric system. As the narrator pronounces the term, it is presented onscreen and appropriate graphics show real-life applications. For example, riding in a race car, snow boarding in a half-pipe, and observing athletes in action demonstrate the principles of motion. Colorful animation shows how force is calculated and the effect of friction on force. Each of Newton's Laws of Motion is discussed and demonstrated using surfers, skate boarders, birds in flight and teams of horses. "Energy" explains the five main forms of energy and how to differentiate between them. High-action footage illustrates the difference between kinetic and potential energy. Students learn how to calculate work and power in "Simple Machines," and real-life applications show how these simple machines make life easier. The teacher's guides include National Standards correlations, assessments, a complete script, activities, pre- and post-tests and a basic review.