Wedge 

 

Wedge: A wedge is a simple machine used to push two objects apart.  A wedge is made up of two inclined planes.  These planes meet and form a sharp edge.  This edge can split things apart.
 
 

You probably use a wedge at lunch every day.  A fork is considered a wedge.  A fork can be used to cut or split food apart.  Can you think of another wedge you use to help you eat?  (How about a knife?)

Examples of wedges:

 

Try this experiment!

Materials:
    nail, bolt, hammer, block of wood
Procedure:
    Try to hammer the bolt into the block of wood.  Think about why a bolt can not be hammered into the wood.  Compare the nail with the bolt.  Now try to hammer the nail into the wood.
Things to think about:
-Why is the nail easier to hammer into the block of wood?
-What simple machine is a nail?
-Can you name some other simple machines with the same characteristics as a nail?
Conclusion:
    The nail is a wedge so it is easier to hammer into the wood.  There is a sharp edge on the nail because it has two inclined planes joined together.  This lets the nail separate the wood. return  

This site is no longer being maintained, but will remain online for the use of educators.