The six simple machines are fundamental mechanical devices that provide a foundation for understanding more complex machines. They are often referred to as the building blocks of machines and can be used individually or in combination to perform various tasks. Simple machines can be combined creatively to achieve complex interactions and tasks within a chain reaction machine. Designers can leverage the principles of these simple machines to create innovative and engaging mechanisms, ensuring the smooth and dynamic progression of the chain reaction.  

Here are the six simple machines along with examples of how they might be used in a chain reaction machine for the engineering machine design contest:  

  1. Lever: A lever is a rigid bar that pivots around a fixed point called a fulcrum. It can be used to amplify or transmit force. Example: A lever can be used to trigger a switch, release a ball, or activate a mechanical arm in a chain reaction machine.  
  1. Wheel and Axle: The wheel and axle consist of a wheel attached to a rod or axle. They facilitate the movement of objects by reducing friction. Example: A wheel and axle can be used to roll a ball, rotate a drum, or power a conveyor belt within a chain reaction machine.  
  1. Pulley: A pulley consists of a grooved wheel with a rope or cable wrapped around it. It can change the direction or magnitude of force applied. Example: A pulley can be used to lift or lower objects, change the path of a moving part, or redirect the force in a chain reaction machine.  
  1. Inclined Plane: An inclined plane is a sloping surface that allows objects to be moved from one height to another with less force. Example: An inclined plane can be used to raise or lower objects, launch a projectile, or change the elevation of a component in a chain reaction machine.  
  1. Wedge: A wedge is a triangular-shaped object with a sharp edge. It is used to separate, split, or hold objects together. Example: A wedge can be used to dislodge a component, activate a switch, or break a connection in a chain reaction machine.  
  1. Screw: A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder or rod. It converts rotational motion into linear motion. Example: A screw can be used to move objects along a threaded path, control the release of energy, or secure components together in a chain reaction machine.