Featured Activity Kit: K’NEX Education Simple Machines Deluxe Set

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that playing needs to stop! There’s no better way to learn than to learn by playing and experimenting. With K’NEX Simple Machines, you and your students can build anything — let your imagination run wild! Towers, levers, pulleys, and more are all possible with this set containing over 1600 parts, 1 electric motor assembly, and 1 adapter. The only limit is your imagination!

Ideal for students in grades 3-5 (but fun for all ages), this set provides an opportunity for hands-on STEAM learning and invention. Groups of students can cluster to create different kinds of machines with the materials provided. Six instruction booklets are included in the set, explaining how to build a number of machines using inclined planes, wheels and axles, gears, levers, and pulleys. For teachers, a CD-ROM guide is also provided with activity ideas.

Consider pairing this activity kit with books like Inclined Planes, Wheels and Axles, Pulleys, and Levers, by Sally M. Walker and Roseann Feldmann, which provide real-world examples of simple machines in use and explain concepts like work, gravity and friction, and the related usefulness of simple machines with photos and building projects.

For an added dose of creative fun, have your class read Lance Dragon Defends his Castle with Simple Machines for further explanations of simple machines. Young learners will enjoy attempting to emulate the machines in the storybook and perhaps invent a few others themselves! The K’NEX Simple Machines Deluxe Set, like the K’NEX Amusement Park that is also available at the OISE Library, can be used for both structured activities and as a creative activity for small groups during free time. 

The K’NEX Education Simple Machines Deluxe Set, and Inclined Planes, Wheels and Axles, Pulleys, Levers, and  Lance Dragon Defends his Castle with Simple Machines are currently on display in the Display & Play area on the third floor of the OISE Library. Check out the Curriculum Resources on the third floor for more hands-on activity kits!

About Chelsea Humphries

Graduate Student Library Assistant | Master of Information (LIS) 2020, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
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