Simple Machines Incursion (Levels 3 – 6)

Theme: Design & Technology – Engineering
Level: 3 – 6

Students will explore design technologies used in different types of machines. They will investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour of machines.


  • Discuss prior knowledge of simple machines: levers, gears, wheels, pulleys and incline planes.
  • Test different designs for a particular purpose and see which design does the job best.
  • Observe and discuss a demonstration of a small student lifting a larger student with the assistance of a simple lever.
  • Explore a variety of tools and compare the lever systems in each.
  • Compare our two systems to experience the effect of single and double pulleys.
  • Explore a range of gear systems and observe the speed and direction of each cog.
  • Experiment with simple electrical circuits and motors.
  • Recognise all the simple machines within an old-fashioned eggbeater.


Victorian Curriculum: Content Descriptions


  • Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (VCSSU064)

Design & Technology

  • Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour of a designed solution (VCDSTC024)
  • Investigate the suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment for a range of purposes (VCDSTC027)


“It was a great introduction to simple machines which is exactly what we were after, plus it introduced elements of fair testing, which supports what we do in class.” Viewbank Primary School

“Totally had all children engaged with the program and it was great that the children had plenty of opportunity to work with materials. Loved the information weaved into the introductory session before each activity. The timing of the hands on and talk were very well managed and blended together to make a great program. The interaction between children and presenter during hands on enabled children to hone in on the simple machine components.” Broadford primary


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