This quarter, 5th grade students are learning about simple machines. Beginning this unit, students investigated different types of levers. As part of their investigations, students have measured the amount of force (in Newtons) needed to lift a load. They have also discovered how the effort needed to lift a load can change as they change the position of the effort, load, or fulcrum. Math has been further integrated in these lessons as students measured and graphed the relationship between distance and effort. Now, students are investigating various types of single and compound pulley systems in order to determine the advantage of using one pulley system over another. This has led to some great conversations about how to get the greatest mechanical advantage out of each type of simple machine, depending on the work needs to be done. Our time in the science lab is fun, but rest assured, a lot of learning is taking place!