Machines are like magical helpers that people create to make their lives easier. They are fascinating tools or devices designed to perform specific tasks. Imagine if you had a robot friend who could help you with your chores, like cleaning your room or making your bed – that robot would be a kind of machine! In the exciting world of STEAM learning, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, we explore how machines are crafted to solve real-world problems. Through STEAM, we learn how to design, build, and use machines to improve our world, just like our helpful robot friend.
The Purpose of Machines:
The main purpose of machines is to make our work easier and more efficient. They help us do things that might be too hard to do with our bare hands. For example, think about riding a bicycle.
A bicycle is a machine with wheels and pedals. It helps us travel from one place to another much faster and with less effort than if we had to walk. That’s the power of machines – which we understand via STEAM learning. Below, we have elaborated on a few components that make up a machine;
- Input: This is what you give to the machine to make it work. In a bicycle, your input is the energy you provide by pushing the pedals with your feet.
- Output: The output is what the machine does in response. When you pedal a bicycle, the outcome is that the wheels turn, moving the bike forward.
- Moving Parts: Many machines have moving parts that perform their intended task. In the case of a bicycle, the wheels, pedals, and chains are moving parts. As you push the pedals, the chain moves, turning the wheels and propelling the bike forward.
- Non-Moving Parts: Some machine parts remain stationary and do not move. In a bicycle, the frame and handlebars are non-moving parts that provide support and structure to the machine. The frame acts as the skeleton of the bicycle, holding all the parts together and giving it structure.
- Control Mechanism: Machines often have mechanisms to control their operation. In a bicycle, you can steer by turning the handlebars, and you can adjust your speed using the brakes.
About LEGO® Education STEAM Park – Module on Functional Elements
The Lego Education STEAM Park is a STEAM learning module that is fun and engaging. Its educational resources are designed to introduce young students, specifically PreK-K (preschool and kindergarten), to the fundamental concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM).
In this module, students explore the functional elements of the STEAM Park set, which includes various pieces like turntables, gears, winches, and more. Through hands-on activities and creative play, children learn about the function and purpose of moving parts in machines.
They are encouraged to use their imagination and critical thinking skills to build their own machines using these elements. The module fosters curiosity, problem-solving, and communication skills, helping young learners understand the basic principles behind machines and how they perform specific tasks. It’s a wonderful way to introduce young children to the exciting world of STEAM learning playfully and interactively.
The key objective takeaway for the lesson is as follows:
- Becoming Familiar with Functional Elements: The primary objective is to introduce students to the functional elements within the set, helping them recognize and understand what each of these elements is and how they may contribute to the functioning of a machine.
- Identifying Movements of Functional Elements: Students should learn to identify and understand the movements and operations of these functional elements. This involves recognizing how each part contributes to the functioning of a machine and what role it plays in making the machine work.
- Exploring the Concept of Machines with Moving Parts: Students should know that machines rely on coordinating & moving components to perform their intended tasks. This understanding that comes through STEAM learning sets the proper foundation for comprehending the principles behind the functioning of various machines.
In summary, machines are excellent tools people create to make their lives easier. They have different components, including moving and non-moving parts, and they help us do various tasks. The bicycle is just one example of a machine with moving parts, and there are many others, such as cars, lawnmowers, etc.