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In this physics activity, learners experiment with pulleys and find that they can decrease the effort needed when using a pulley to lift or move different loads. This is an excellent activity to work into a lesson plan or workshop having to do with simple machines.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Ropes
  • Jugs of Water or Sand
  • Dowel rods
  • Tape


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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