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Equipment requiring safe usage.

Adult supervision recommended.


Lesson video

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Hello, everyone.

I'm Mrs. Enock and I am your design and technology teacher, focusing with mechanisms, levers and linkages.

Today, the first lesson is called understanding how a range of mechanisms create movement.

So we're going to be exploring exactly what mechanisms are and how these mechanisms create movements.

So, are you ready to get learning? Excellent.

Let's see exactly what we're learning about today.

In this lesson, you will need a pencil, rubber and ruler, cardboard, which can be recycled boxes, scissors and split pins.

And I also like to use a piece of blue tack, or you could have some play dough, or Plasticine, or a small sponge, just something, that when we are making holes through the paper, we can push a pencil into without damaging the table.

Now, please remember scissors must be used under the supervision of a parent or carer.

Let's see what we're learning about in today's lesson.

What is a mechanism? We're going to find out exactly what a mechanism is.

We're then going to explore mechanisms a little bit further.

Now, we're going to be using a lot of cardboard in these activities.

So it'd be really great for us to explore the importance of using recycled materials.

After that, we're going to recap on some simple mechanisms and finish with a practical activity.

Now, in today's lesson, there are going to be keywords that are really important for you to use and understand.

Our first word is mechanism.

If I say it first, you say it after.

Ready? Mechanism.

Your turn.


Mechanism is a device used to create movement in a product.

Our next word is lever.

I'll say it, lever.

Your turn.


A lever is a rigid bar which moves around a pivot.

We will be using card as our levers in today's project.

The next word is slot.

I say slot.

Your turn.


The slot is the hole through which the lever is placed to enable part of the picture to move.

Let's look at the next word, pivot.

If I say it, pivot.

Your turn.


A pivot is the central point.

We are going to be using split pins on which a mechanism can turn.

And finally, design brief.

Can you say it? Excellent.

Design brief is a description of a product to be designed.

It will state how a product will function to meet the needs of the user.

Oh, one extra word.


Can you say recycle? Great.

Recycle is to convert waste into reusable materials.

Very important for helping our planet.


Let's look at what is a mechanism.

What is a mechanism? In a moment, press Pause and have a look at all these pictures.

They are all showing a mechanism.

Once you've had a think, press Resume and we'll explore mechanisms further.

Did you get any ideas? Hmm.

Can you see gears? Point to the gears.

It's in the top left-hand corner, isn't it? Excellent.

Can you see a lever? That's right, it's the top middle picture.


All these are different examples of mechanisms. A mechanism is where materials or components are connected together and this makes movement.

Can you see the cogs? Super.

The cogs are connected together and in the middle is the pivot.

And when they're connected together, they are able to move.

Can you see the picture on the bottom right? That's an example of cardboard being connected by a pivot.

And that allows movement.

Can you think of any other mechanisms around your house? These are photos of mechanisms around my house.

In a moment, press Pause and go see if you can find any.

Bring them back when you're done, and you can show me.

Ready? Off you go.

Did you find any mechanisms? Well done if you did.

I had a look and I found the mechanism to pull my blinds up and down.

I also found a special clip on the lever.

I saw the mechanism with my hole puncher, and I also saw the mechanism with my scissors.

Here we go.

There are two different parts to these scissors.

The materials, or the components, are connected by a pivot and this causes movement, and that's what makes it a mechanism.


Let's just recap on what we've learned.

A mechanism is where materials or components are connected to make movement.

Point to what you think it is.

Is it true or false? That's right, it is true.

A mechanism, like these scissors, is where the two components, the two different parts, are connected and this allows movement.

Amazing, hey? Who knew our scissors was a mechanism? Now, this is really important to know.

If you have more than one mechanism working together, this is called a mechanical system.

Can you see the bicycle in the picture? That is a mechanical system, because there's more than one mechanism working together.

You've got the cogs on the back of the back of the bicycle, you've got a cog connected to the foot pedal.

Because there's more than one mechanism, it's called a? That's right, a mechanical system.

Well done.

Let's explore what a system is a little bit more.

A system is a set of related mechanisms used to create an outcome.

Now, that sounds a little bit tricky, but if we have a look at the bicycle, we can see that there are different parts to the bicycle.

And when the parts work together, it creates the outcome we want.

In the bicycle, it makes the wheels move.

Clever, hey? Now we're going to be using card and paper fasteners to explore and create a system of levers and linkages.

Cool, hey? Here are some more facts about a mechanical system.

Every mechanical system has to have an input.

It has to have a process when something happens.

And there has to be an output.

Now, we will be making using levers and pivots.

And I'm going to just use this to help explain.

So the input movement is where I'm holding one end of the cardboard strip.

And if you push or pull, I'm putting an input into the mechanism.

Now, if we put something at the top here, this is the output, because I'm putting the movement in here and this is the output here.

And that's really important on a mechanical system.

There's an input, the process is the movement, and it creates the output in a different place.

So what sounded quite tricky is actually not tricky when we break it down.

Okay, let's just check that we really understood about systems. What is the input movement? Is it the pushing or pulling of the card, or is it when part of the picture moves? What do you think? That's right.

The input was when we pushed or pulled the card, just like we could apply it to the scissors.

The input is when we push and pull the handle.

What is the output movement? Is it the pushing or pulling of the card, or is it when part of the picture moves? Have a look and see.

What do you think? That's right, it's when part of the picture moves.

Let's have a look.

I'm doing the input of pushing and pulling the card, and the output is I've made my little smiley faces move.


Well done.

We're now going to explore mechanisms a little bit further.

Exploring mechanisms. A mechanism is where materials or components are connected to make movement, just like our scissors.

Now, there's something really important needed in all these mechanisms. Do you know what this part of the mechanism is called? It's called a pivot.

Here's the pivot on the scissors and here is the pivot on our cardboard mechanism.

So we need to ask ourselves, what is a pivot? We will be using a lot of split pins, just like in the picture, for our links and leverages, but what is a pivot? Press Pause and have a little think.

When you're done, press Resume, and we'll carry on learning together.

A pivot is a central point or, in our case, the pin, which can make the mechanism turn.

I want you to have a think now.

There are actually pivots all around us.

There are pivots in playgrounds.

There are pivots in fair grounds.

Have a think where one might be.

Did you have think? Let's explore some pictures and further our understanding.

Look at this Ferris wheel.

Can you see where the pivot it? Press Pause and point to it.

Did you find it? There it is right in the middle.

That allows movement.

Have a look at this large swing.

Can you see where the pivot is? That's right, it's right in the middle.

It allows movement going around.

Let's move on with our learning.

Another important part of a mechanism is the lever.

You can see this large cube rock is being used by a lever.

You can also see the lever in the picture that is allowing the rotation.

A lever is a rigid bar or, in our case, the strip of card which rests on the pivot.

It can move in a curved or a straight line.

And we will be exploring how that happens.

There we go.

What different levers can you find around your house? Press Pause and have think and then explore.

When you've had a look for levers around your home, press Resume and we'll carry on learning together.

Did you find lots of levers? Do you notice the lever on the peg? The metal point in the middle is the pivot.

And the two wooden parts are the levers.

Look at all these different levers.

Can you point to the pivot on the scissors? Well done.

This part here.

Can you point to the pivot on the wheelbarrow? That's right, it's in the middle of the wheel.


Well done.

A really great way of exploring levers is by using cardboard, very similar to the simple mechanism I showed you earlier.

Now you can see my little mechanism is the X similar to the one in the picture.

But you could actually build the Xs on top of each other to make a system.

Let's look at using recycled materials to help us explore levers and linkages.

What does the word recycle mean? Let's pause and have a think.

Pres Resume when you're done.

Did you have a think what recycle means? Recycle is when you convert waste into reusable materials.

So you change something that used to be possibly an old bit of wasted material, like this wasted cardboard, and you reuse it into something else.

It's really important to recycle, because it helps protect our planet, which is very special.

My goodness, let's have a look at this rubbish dump.

So, we've learned that to recycle is to convert waste into reusable material and we want to try and reduce the amount of waste we produce because we don't want all this rubbish stuck on our planet, do we? Okay, let's just check what we've learned so far.

The definition of recycle is to convert waste into reusable material.

Point to whether you think it's true or whether you think it's false.

That's right, it's true.

That is the definition of recycling, or recycle.

In a moment, I'd like you to press Pause and have a think.

What do you have near you that you could recycle and use for this project? What have you got cardboard around the home that could be reused, recycled? Did you think of any? Let's see what ideas I came up with.

I thought about cardboard boxes.

I thought abour cereal boxes turned inside out, and even old celebration cards that I might have laying around.


With our lever, to make movement, we need to have a pivot.

What are we using as a pivot in this project? Are we using plastic straws, a paper strip, a cardboard strip, or a paper fastener? Point to what you think it is.

Off you go.

Did you get it right? Well done if you did.

A plastic straw would not make a good pivot, neither would paper.

Cardboard strip is ideal, but we're using that as a lever.

It's a paper fastener, also known as a split pin that we'll be using as a pivot.

And I've got some, if I show you my bowl, just here.

It's quite hard to see.

There we go.


Our safety warning check now.

In a moment, you're going to be asked to use sharp scissors for the next activity.

Please go and ask an adult to be present before you start this activity.

Please don't use sharp scissors unsupervised.

Once you've got all the equipment you need, press Resume and we'll start the practical activity.

Ready? Off you go.

Right, we have recyclable cardboard, ready to make our levers.

So we are going to measure out two centimetres.

Two, four, six, eight, 10.

This way, by measuring two centimetres each side, it means that we can draw a straight line and then our levers will be the same length and the same width.

Here we go.

Now we've made the marks each side, we can join up the lines and get some lovely straight edges.

Now, you can use pencil.

I quite like to use a yellow pencil crayon when I make my markings, but pencil, anything that works well for you that you have at home.

And once we've made the levers, we are going to be able to cut them out.

We can now cut out our levers.

Now we have cut out our levers, they are the same width and the same length.

We're now going to take two of the levers and we're going to measure the length of the lever.

Now, this lever was 14 centimetres, so I've made a mark halfway through of seven centimetres, and this will help guide me where to put the pivot.

So now we can place the first cardboard lever on top of the blue tack.

And using a sharp pencil, we can make a hole through the cardboard by pushing it into the blue tack.

And we've made the first hole, we can do the same on the second lever.


Now we are ready to put in the loose pivot, and we do that by adding the split pin, turning it over, opening the back of the split pin, and there we have our first mechanism.

Now we are going to make the second part of the mechanism.

We've measured the middle and we are putting the hole through the middle of the lever, crossing it over, and we can add the loose pivot.

Opening the back of the split pin, and there we have two mechanism.

We now need to put them together.

So there we go.

We are going to place it on top, pop a hole through, and then we're going to add the pivot.


We're going to make sure we put the pivot on both sides.

Pop a hole through there, both pieces of cardboard, and then we can add our pivot, the split pin.

And there we have a moving mechanism made by levers and pivots.

Well done for making your mechanism.

Did you have lots of fun? I sure did.


Let's recap on our different mechanisms. Can you point to a pivot in the picture? Well done.

Can you find the levers? Excellent.

We looked at using levers with recycled materials.

I wonder how big a mechanism you could make using cardboard and split pins.

That sounds like a fun investigation.

We had a lot of fun today.

We learned what a mechanism is.

We explored mechanisms. We understood the importance of using recycled materials, especially when using a lot of cardboard in these projects.

And then we recapped on simple mechanisms. I've had a lot of fun working with you today.

Well done for all your hard effort and I hope you had as much fun as I did.

I'll see you soon.