Part way into our bookcase study, students began wondering if they would REALLY get to use power tools (the answer was, of course, yes!) and how these tools worked. From these questions, we began our study of Work and Simple Machines. Grounded in the question, “What tools will help make the work of building a book case easier?”, students studied all six simple machines and the concept that Work = Force x Distance. They used their new knowledge to design their own hypothetical tools. The rules? The tool needed to combine at least two different simple machines and it needed to help reduce the Work involved in building bookcases. Students created scaled drawings and models of their tools. One student even made a hand-crank drill that we used on our actual bookcases!