Island 2 Fischertechnik-Machines and Gears

Mechanics and Structures

Learn the principles of simple and compound machines. Discover how to build machines with great mechanical advantage by using worm gears and toothed gears.


Fischertechnik- Machines and Gears

What is it?

Get To Know Fischertechnik

The modeling system fischertechnik is used by many scientists and engineers for sophisticated modeling simulations and experiments. It is a precision modeling system designed and produced in Germany.

Additionally, this system is used to model large structures and simulate complex machines. With its sensors and computer programming capabilities, fischertechnik can even become a sophisticated robotics system.


Mechanics is the area of physics concerned with the effect of forces on physical bodies.

Mechanics is divided into various areas including statics, which is the study of structural systems that do not move, and dynamics, which is the study of bodies in motion.


Given how important machines are in our everyday lives, this Learning Launcher will take a closer look at how they function – the study of dynamics.

Since dynamics concerns the effect of force on moving objects, students will first explore the concepts of force and work.

Simply, force is a push or pull. Anything that causes a mass to accelerate (move faster or slower) is exerting force. Examples are gravitational force, magnetic force, and mechanical force. 

Mechanical force is commonly measured in newtons (N) (named after Sir Isaac Newton who defined many of the Laws of Motion). One newton is the amount of force required for a 1 kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) mass to experience an acceleration of one meter per second squared.

Is that a lot of force?

Well, if you hold an average smart phone, it pushes down on your hand with about 1 N of force under the influence of gravity. Similarly, a quarter-pound cheeseburger exerts about 1 N of force on your plate.

So one newton is very small compared to say, an elephant, which pushes against the ground with a force of nearly 60,000 N. However, one newton may seem very large relative to a piece of paper, which pushes on your desk with only 0.05 N, or about one-twentieth of the force of your burger.

Who Did The Most Work?

Your friend challenges you to a contest to see who can do more work. Since she is a strong athlete, she decides to find the Mr. Knotts' car in the parking lot and push it with all her might. As hard as she pushes, she can not make it budge. She strains and strains for almost thirty minutes. Finally, she collapses in a heap, totally exhausted.

You watch her through the window, somewhat amused. When she returns, she finds you sitting in the SmartLab with a pencil in front of you. With a casual flick of your finger, you make it roll across the desk and onto the floor.

Who won the contest?