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Simple Machines: What Is a Screw? (Grade 3)

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Simple Machines: What Is a Screw?

Screw A screw is more than a small metal object. It is one of the six simple machines. A screw may be a simple, but it can do some helpful tasks. A screw is a useful machine because it changes rotational, or turning, motion into up-and-down motion. A screw can move an object up or down - like a person walking up or down a spiral staircase. A screw can also hold objects together - like two boards.

A screw is a type of inclined plane. Wrap an inclined plane around itself and it twists into a screw. The spirals of the screw are called threads. A screw with threads spaced far apart will be harder to turn than a screw with threads spaced closer together. But, a screw with closely spaced threads will need to be turned more, over a longer distance, than a screw with threads spaced farther apart.

Try This! Cut a triangle out of a piece of paper. Tape the base of the triangle to a pencil. Wrap the triangle around the pencil. You made a screw!
The teeth of a zipper work like screws.
  1. True
  2. False
A screw is actually another simple machine. Which one?
  1. lever
  2. wheel and axle
  3. inclined plane
  4. pulley
Which item(s) is used as an example of a screw in the passage?
  1. pencil
  2. person
  3. two boards
  4. spiral staircase
Cameron is replacing a light bulb with the one shown.
Earth Day - Light Bulb
Which motion should Cameron use to fit the base of the bulb into the light socket?
  1. pull
  2. turn
  3. push
Three jars have three different lids that screw on. Each lid is the same size. Each lid has a different thread distance. The table shows the number of times each lid must be fully turned to close the lid completely.
Jar A5
Jar B7
Jar C3

Which jar lid has the most widely spaced threads?
  1. Jar A
  2. Jar B
  3. Jar C

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