After many experiments using simple machines, the Grade 2s soon became experts. When it was time to study about levers, they were all able to predict that the lever would help to lift things. But they were not sure what role a fulcrum played.
The first group used a ruler as a lever and a large block for the fulcrum. The placed a load on one end of the lever, and the fulcrum was close to the load. They then set out to see how much ‘effort’ was needed to lift the load. They soon learnt, they did not need a lot of effort.
The second group used the same tools for the lever and fulcrum. This time the fulcrum was placed in the middle of the lever. They noticed that they required more effort than the first group.
The third group copied the experiment, making one major change. Their fulcrum was placed on the other end of the lever, far away from the load. They piled on over 25 blocks, and the load would still not move. By the time 30 blocks were piled, it got wobbly, and fell over, before their load had been lifted.
“I learnt that the fulcrum helps you lift things when using a lever,” said Tara.
So it is possible to learn something new about Simple Machines!