Lesson Plans

THE CHALLENGE: Simple Machines

Content: Simple Machines
Theme: Games and Sports

Engineers design and build machines that help make people's lives easier. For example, they make cars for us to get around in, appliances to help with household tasks, and farm equipment to grow our food. Most machines use one or more simple machines, such as levers and pulleys.

In this hands-on challenge, students explore simple machines by inventing a game based on a lever. In the process, they put the law of the lever and the design process into practice and develop an experiential basis for these concepts.

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During this classroom set-up, introduce students to the simple machine called a lever by watching a short video and building a lever using simple materials.


During this "At Home" challenge, students will use what they learned about levers to identify more of them in the real world.


Provide students with an opportunity to share their "lever" discoveries. Then introduce students to engineers who use levers in their jobs.