Aboriginal `Simple` Machines

Aboriginal ‘Simple’ Machines:
It’s Not Just About European Males!
EDUB 2130
Nature of Science Applications to
the Teaching of Science
‘Simple’ Machines
 Simplest mechanisms that provide some advantage in moving an
Pulleys, screws, wheels & axles, inclined planes (ramp), lever
and wedge
Reduced labour – most of us aren’t into ‘no pain, no gain’
HN #1: If there’s an easier way, I’ll use it!
HN #2: Faced with a problem, we seek solutions!
Historically the attention to Simple Machines has been given
to Archimedes & Greek society in 3BC ( 5000 years ago).
Any consideration that we don’t need to look far to see SM, even
earlier, even among our First Peoples?
Salmon Wheels
 Archaeologically dated to 3000 years.
 Modified significantly since then
 Effective use of a wheel and axle system as well as an inclined
plane (lots of YouTube examples)
Were not given a ‘science name’ – Gwichin - fish large hands.
Creative solutions to problems faced – world wide examples
of simple machines among Aboriginal peoples
Science – technology link – without these creative solutions
our scientific understanding both simple machines would be
limited –
Science and technology development is intertwined
What Did I Learn
About the Nature of
Science is not just about
white male people –
European males! Other
peoples have contributed.
Science development
occurs because of
Science development is a
creative process associated
with problem solving –
challenge of situation
Science developments have
had – and + consequences
Application to the
Teaching of
Example to My
We need to realize that
Aboriginal cultures are
thoughtful and purposeful
and draw upon this in our
From the examples of
technology we see through
history we can identify
scientific principles at
Use technology to assist in
science learning
Microscopes, rulers, smart
boards, etc can assist me in
my teaching .