The unit begins with a discussion of circles. It covers the parts of a circle, related lines, circumference, and the distance a rolling wheel travels. Students use experiments to find Pi, circumference and distance. This section would be useful to a junior high math teacher introducing circles or to a high school teacher who has students that don’t understand circles. I have used these experiments and I have found that when the student performed the experiments, he learned the concepts.
The next section introduces motion. It gives easy to understand definitions and descriptions of distance, speed, velocity, acceleration, and friction. The motion experiments are described later in the paper. This section is geared to a junior high science class or to a freshman physical science class.
In the next section, motion is treated more mathematically. The rate of change of a function is treated in as graphical an approach as possible. This section is excellent for any math class which teaches coordinate axis or graphing. It could also be used in a precalculus or calculus class to physically show the concepts of differentiation and integration. The number manipulations and graphs are also excellent exercises for a spreadsheet class. I try to show my students that spreadsheets are tools that they can use to solve a variety of problems.
Simple machines are then explored. There are six simple machines: the lever, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, and screw. I have tried to stress that although machines decrease effort, they do not decrease work. It is impossible to get more work out of a machine than you put into it. This section is designed for a junior high science class or for a freshman physical science class.