Simple Machines and Paper Mills


My summer job description is to give tours of a paper mill. My main interest group consists of the enthusiastic, retired senior citizens who are now touring the “AAA state gems.” The worst case scenario for a tour, however, is when those excited grandparents drag their apathetic tween-aged grandchildren. I can see the glazed over stare as soon as we commence the tour and they hear any words bigger than “like,” or “ummm.”

I have been mulling over this dilemma in my mind and all of a sudden, the elementary education section of my brain kicked into gear and I had a “mill tour epiphany!”

What about gearing the 4-6 graders up to look for simple machines (you know, pulleys, levers, screws, inclined planes, etc.)? This is a topic most of them should have learned about by now and to talk about something in science class is one thing, but to see it put to work in a real life context adds another dimension to learning. So I have developed an elementary/middle school tour on simple machines. I’ll be able to give them a brochure with a description of the six types of simple machines and a tally list. We can discuss different areas and count up the number of inclined planes in a particular area.

I’m so excited about this idea! It sounds so fun and I have talked about it with teachers who’ve toured to gather input. Now it’s just a matter of getting those kids to come on a tour…any ideas?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jules
    Jul 19, 2006 @ 17:19:00

    stephanie 🙂 lovely picture by the way! that tour sounds great, do it!
    I MISS YOU!

    Reply

  2. Liz
    Jul 21, 2006 @ 10:41:00

    spice it up with lots of humor! Make it the most retarded paper mill tour ever! We went on one to the paper mill in our town-it was actually a date (sad i know!)-the tour guide made us say how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck would chuck wood-like twenty time fast-that was the most fun at a paper mill i ever had!!!

    Reply

  3. Daisy
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 17:16:00

    Oh my…hey, maybe I could use that! We’ll see (as I rub my hands together deviously)

    Reply

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