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!

    nail, bolt, hammer, block of wood
    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?
    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  

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