Gizmo Factory Curriculum

Gadgets and gizmos aplenty await you and your students in this interactive physics arcade with exhibits exploring a variety of physics phenomena. The Gizmo Factory provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on, minds-on and bodies-on fun and learning.

Concepts: physics, energy, magnetism, light, color, simple machines, engineering

Clay Center Challenge

1. Check out the magnet wall with your students. What materials are attracted to the wall? Which are not? After a bit of “play,” challenge students to create temporary magnets by building out from or adding items to items already sticking to the wall. How far can they go?

2. Build the catenary arch using the vinyl blocks and see if your students can make it stand on its own. For a further challenge, see if they can remove the keystone and still get it to stand. This requires some quick hands!

3. Have students look for simple machines in the gallery. For younger students, point out simple machines like gears, pulleys and levers and ask students if they can see how these things help with the work being done. After pointing out a few of these simple machines, see if students can locate some on their own. For older students, discuss/review a list (can be found at one of the links below) of simple machines before you visit the gallery. Have students locate and identify the simple machines as they go through the Gizmo Factory.

Classroom Challenge

Grades K - 2
Show examples of simple machines in classroom and discuss their uses in our daily lives. Something as simple as a pair of scissors can provide a great opportunity to discuss the mechanical advantage of levers.

Grades 3 - 8
Have students discuss the simple machines they observed while visiting the Gizmo Factory (or any of the science galleries). Compare these to simple machines found in the classroom or around the school and discuss their uses and how they assist people with work. Students can also take part in a type of scavenger hunt for simple machines.

Grades 9 - 12
After discussing simple machines found in the science galleries, have students study simple machines and their uses throughout history (levers and pulleys used to assist with the building of ancient structures, etc.). After researching, have students prepare a report or presentation using PowerPoint and/or other visual displays and technology to share their findings with the class.

Resource Links

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

WV 21st Century Content Standards and Objectives

Click here for Gizmo Factory WV 21st Century Content Standards and Objectives

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