The Simple Machines
There are only 6. Most adult Americans couldn’t name them (can you?). I bet 10% or less could tell you how they work.
Here is a GREAT site for educators. These tools and their principals need to be a part of grade school curriculum. They are fascinating, and are at the foundation of mechanical competence.
Here is the general page I ginked these from.
Wow — out of 20 or 30 sites visited, Wikipedia has the best presentation…again.
Actually — this one is pretty good too:
Here is a great online resource for, ahem, schools.
Here is a more general set of mechanics observations, again, don’t leave these for the kids. You don’t know this stuff either.
And now that you’re all grown up and ready to invent the Helicopter, here are some more advanced examples:
And here is a nice discussion that includes a little math, now that you remember the concepts:
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