Medieval Machine Mayhem!

Related Background Resources and/or Links

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Related Background Resources and/or Links:,. (2015). OCTE. Retrieved 13 July 2015, from: (2015). CODE Health & Safety Project. Retrieved 13 July 2015, from: (2015). - Student Achievement Division Resources - K to 12. Retrieved 13 July 2015, from: (2015). Launch into Learning: Catapults! - Lesson - . Retrieved 27 July 2015, from:

Extend / Redesign

After learning more about simple machines and systems, students revisit their design to see how they can improve upon their original design. Students should improve their design by increasing mechanical advantage and work done.
Other criteria for success include:

  • Durability

  • Aesthetics

  • cost/materials

  • accuracy (if building a throwing device)

Extension possibilities:

  • conducting a Medieval Times Science Fair showcasing student models and final calculations

  • applying what they have learned to solve a contemporary problem, e.g., how to lift a sunken boat using a floating platform

  • using SKYPE to talk to engineers that are working on current systems and machines

  • conducting other investigations as to what technological problems people face today (i.e., NASA, industrial manufacturing)

  • comparing structures of Medieval Times to those in the Industrial Revolution (linking to the grade 7 History curriculum) and the impact those new machines had in their historical context

Optional/Alternative build ideas

  • a system for a disabled person to use (e.g., chair lift, arm reach extender)

  • a mechanical device that fulfills a current need/solves a problem that is identified by students (e.g., robot)

Evaluate (I REMEMBER)
Things to look for in assessment pieces:


With prompts

Not yet

Can the student use the vocabulary appropriately?

Does the technological-design process show signs that new knowledge was used to improve on the design?

Can the student justify choices of design for criteria success?

Can the student calculate the mechanical advantage and work done by different machines?

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