During the first day of Europe, we will visit Italy for the Italian Renaissance and especially Leonardo Da Vinci. We look at a few of his inventions but with a focus on the catapult. We discuss simple levers and the kids design their own simple
catapults (with popsicle sticks, rubberbands, pencils and spoons) for a mini mudball battle. The picture shows a model of Da Vinci's catapult at the bottom which I will use to explain a combination of the wheel and axle and the lever. In his design, the fulcrum of the lever is a wheel and axle, with the effort being applied to the axle and the lever extending from the wheel.
Later that day we talk about wind power (Spain is the 5th largest producer in the world of wind power)...hence the wind power machine which really lights up when turned. I love having models so the kids can see the mechanisms in action and get a better idea of how they work.