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Island 2 Fischertechnik: Static Level 1 Machines and Gears

Mechanics and Structures

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

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Fischertechnik- Static 2 Level 1 Machines and Gears

What is it?

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.

You can explore both statics and dynamics with your fischertechnik Mechanic + Static 2 kit.

In this Learning Launcher, we will focus on dynamics and machines. 

A World of Machines

Can you imagine a world without machines?

We have machines to make work easier. 

Every day, from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed, you interact with machines. Machines are such a common part of our everyday lives, we do not usually think about them.

But you could not zip up your pants without a machine (yes, a zipper is a machine). Additionally, you rely on a doorknob to leave the house, use a bat to play baseball, and wash your face with water from a faucet, all of which are machines. Of course, the very complex machines you normally think about, like cars and bicycles, also play critical roles in our everyday lives.

Work and Energy:

When force is applied over a distance, we call it work.

Force x Distance = Work

Work is a form of energy and is commonly measured in joules (J) (after the physicist James Prescott Joule). One joule is the amount of work done when a force of one newton is applied over a distance of one meter.

We can express it with the following formula:

1N x 1m = 1J

The motor in the fischertechnik kit converts electrical energy into kinetic energy, or energy of motion. This change, or transformation, of energy is a result of the work done on the motor by electricity.

Other parts in a machine use work to transfer the same type of energy from one location to another. For example, when one object with kinetic energy applies force on a nearby object, it gives the new object some kinetic energy. This is like the moment when a swinging golf club hits a motionless golf ball, giving the ball energy to fly through the air. 

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