Creating a Compound Machine Using Simple Machines

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Updated on Jun 14, 2013

Grade Level: 1st - 5th; Type: Physical Science


To design a compound machine using your knowledge of simple machines.

Research Questions:

  • What jobs can simple machines make easier?
  • How can simple machines be combined to make a compound machine?

With machines we can do many things that we wouldn’t just do with our own strength. Simple machines are machines that have few or no moving parts. Compound machines are made up of two or more simple machines and can be constructed to make work much simpler!


  • Small pieces of wood (for levers and wedges)
  • Doorstops
  • Screws
  • Spools
  • String
  • Paperclips
  • Other materials that could be used to construct simple and compound machines

Experimental Procedure

  1. Research the different simple machines, their functions, how they make tasks easier, and find real-world examples.
  2. Now, think of an everyday task that could be made simpler with the use of a machine. Describe the task and how the use of a machine would simplify it.
  3. Design a compound machine using at least two simple machines. Draw a detailed illustration of your machine, labeling the simple machines.
  4. From your design, create your compound machine and try it out. Did it work? Did it make your task easier?

Terms/Concepts: Force; Simple machine; Compound machine


Angela Pike has been in the world of elementary education for almost a decade, working as a classroom teacher, school writing specialist, and later a school administrator. After a recent leave from the education realm to stay at home with her children, she channeled her passion for education, science, and writing into a composing articles and educational activities for various companies.

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