Humans have used simple machines for thousands of years. From chopping wood to hunting and cooking, we use simple machines to reduce our workload. Simple machines decrease the amount of force needed to move an object. For example, lifting up a heavy boulder may seem impossible at first, but when you use a lever, the task becomes easier. Simple machines are still used all over the world, in industry and work, transportation, housing and even for entertainment.
There are six simple machines:
Wheel and Axle
A compound machine uses multiple simple machines. A bicycle is an example of a compound machine. It uses wheel and axle (the wheels), pulley (the chain) and lever (the pedals). Simple machines are in so many places it’s impossible to go through a day without using one.
Explore simple machines at the Royal BC Museum! Find examples of simple machines in the museum’s collections and galleries. Wander through on your own or book a Simple Machines Learning Lab. If you can’t get here in person, you can find Royal BC Museum examples of simple machines here on the Learning Portal.
What simple machines do you use every day?