We have some special guest bloggers this month as Ms. Nelson’s third graders (Longfellow) have agreed to share their thoughts on the Geared Up program with us. Geared Up is an excellent introduction to engineering, using LEGOs. The program was first proposed by Gretchen Junker during our last Call for Ideas. Ms. Junker currently serves as the Program Coordinator, and a VEX Robotics Coach. Stay tuned for more posts from Ms. Nelson’s students, and catch up on those you missed here.

Guest Blogger: Tyson McLean

If you needed to carry something up to a 50 ft tower, and could either take it up a 21-step hill, or a 52-step hill, which one would you choose?  The 52-step hill because it’s longer but it’s not as steep, or the 21-step hill, which would require you to have to do way more work?  There is definitely a difference. The 52-step hill is less work. But, some of you guys might still think the 21-step hill is better. Well, that will be more work for you!  In our first Geared Up Lego workshop, we learned about how simple machines help us make doing jobs like this, easier.

I learned a lot at our first Geared Up Lego workshop about levers!  Here is what I learned.

1st Class Levers

A 1st class lever has a load that is either on the right or left and has the effort on the other side. The pivot would be in the middle of both the load and the effort. The effort is the part where you push down or pull up. The load is the part you want to move. The pivot is the part that is in the middle of the effort and the load. If you’re working with a 2nd or 3rd class lever, the pivot will not be in the middle it will be off to one of the sides.

2nd Class Levers

A 2nd class lever is a lever where the load is in the middle and the pivot is on the right or left side.  The effort will be on the other side. It is different than the 1st or 3rd class levers. It’s 2nd class!  Also, I did not have time to make the 3rd class lever, but it would have looked different. They are all made in their own way.

These are all simple machines which help people move stuff. It’s simple just like in the word, “simple”. Levers help simple machines to be simple.