Created by Edheads with funding from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, “Simple Machines” is designed to simplify hard-to-teach concepts using animated activities and the interactive power of the internet. Built for students in grades two through six, the site allows students to explore and identify more than 50 different machines, from the basic tools used in everyday life to more complex mechanical innovations. In the process, students learn how these various machines work and what their core components are: gears, levels, pulleys, and so on. According to the Edheads site, “Simple Machines” is just the first in a series of interactive, web-based learning experiences intended to engage students and promote critical thinking skills. All activities are aligned to state and national teaching standards, and a Teacher’s Guide contains ideas for using them in the classroom.
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