Drawing Board

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The Drawing Board consists of a marking pen that remains stationary and a platform that swings beneath the pen, acting as a pendulum. As the platform swings, the pen marks a sheet of paper that is fastened to the platform, generating beautiful repetitive patterns. These colorful designs contain hidden lessons in physics. This resource includes instructions for making a large-scale Drawing Board as well.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A ruler
  • One 4x4x12 inch (10x10x30 cm) wood post
  • A nonskid base
  • A drill
  • A pivot bolt
  • 2 metersticks or yardsticks
  • Washers
  • Wire
  • Rubber bands
  • 3 large tables or 4 evenly spaced hooks in a ceiling
  • A large board
  • 4 large hook eyes
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Bricks
  • A large sheet of plain paper
  • Masking tape
  • Marking pens
  • String (optional)
  • Adult help
  • Ellipto™ or Pendul-Art™ kits (optional)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • California Department of Education
  • NEC Foundation of America