Our Forces topic is just coming to a close and we are looking at some simple mechanisms. While at Ironbridge we saw the ‘Hay Inclined Plane’ a mechanism that lifted and lowered boats 63m using a combination of steam power and gravity; in the classroom we have been working with even simpler mechanisms - levers and pulleys.
The children were given a tray of resources and instructions to build 2, 3 and 4 pulley systems. Using Newtonmeters and string, we could measure the advantage of using pulleys to lift heavy weights - did you know that with 4 pulleys, the load feels only a quarter of its weight? You do need 4 times the length of string to raise it though!
It was great fun finding this out.