Pendulum Time

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In this activity, learners explore how the pendulum has been a reliable way to keep time for centuries. Learners work in teams to build their own working clock using a pendulum out of everyday materials. Learners will need to be able to speed up and slow down the motion of the pendulum clock. They sketch their plans, consider what materials they will need, build the clock, test it, and present reflections to their group.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • Stopwatch or clock with second hand
  • String
  • Rubber bands
  • Golf balls
  • Pingpong balls (or ball or weight with knob in it)
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Foil
  • Paper cups
  • Paper clips
  • Wire
  • Plastic or paper plates
  • Glue
  • Pipecleaners
  • PVC piping
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Velcro tape
  • Other materials as needed


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and History
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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