What do seesaws, oars, wheelbarrows and our arms all have in common? Amazingly, they are all simple mechanisms that use levers – a rigid beam that is free to rotate on a pivot and is perfect for lifting and moving heavy things.
In Year 3’s Design and Technology lessons, our children have been looking at levers and connecting more than one to create linkages.
Combining the STEM with the creative, they transformed their simple linkages into moving monsters, complete with snapping jaws and tons of character! Taking on the role of designers, the children drew detailed, well-labelled designs for their marvellous monsters. The key criteria were that it had to have movable mandibles that snapped open and closed!
Learning about levers and linkages also offered the Year 3 children opportunities to practice accurate measuring, making holes safely for split pins using a pencil and rubber, attaching split pins, cutting razor-sharp jagged jaws and having fun snapping at each other with their ravenous monsters. To leverage their skills, they applied their linkage knowledge to P4L by reinventing themselves as superheroes with kindness superpowers. They snapped to great heights to depict being kind, empathetic and helpful. All life skills that, along with the knowledge of levers, will extend their view of the world.
In the ancient, wise words of Archimedes, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I (Design and Technology) shall move the world.”