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Cable Car

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    Community Science Workshop Network

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Cable Car

In this activity, learners string a line across the room and build cable cars that can move from on end to the other. Learners construct their cable cars out of wood sticks, motors, and electrical circuits. Use this activity to introduce how cable cars work as well as physics principles related to center of gravity, rotational motion, electricity, and motors. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 paperclip, large
  • 2 paperclips, small
  • 1 wood stick, 1 in. x 2 in. x 6 in.
  • 4 electrical wires
  • 1 AA battery
  • 2 craft sticks
  • 2 tacks
  • 1 glue stick, 1/8 in. long
  • foil
  • tape, masking & electrical
  • suspended string or wire to hang the cable car
  • hot glue gun


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Motors
      • Electric Circuits
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Rotation Motion
      • Center of Gravity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Model Building
  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • 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


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All Rights Reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, ©2011

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