Carolina® Simple Machines: Pulleys Kit

Carolina® Simple Machines: Pulleys Kit

SKU: 751340NC
Excluding Sales Tax

Grades 6–12. Students build the following pulley systems:

  • 1 fixed
  • 2 fixed, 1 movable
  • 3 fixed, 2 movable


To further challenge students, teachers are provided instructions to build a more complex pulley system using 4 different lengths of rope, 4 movable pulleys, and 1 fixed pulley. In this system, only 2 rope segments support the load. Counting ropes to determine the mechanical advantage does not work. Challenge students to explain why and calculate the mechanical advantage.

Extend this lesson by:

  • Combining student groups to create a new pulley system and determine its mechanical advantage
  • Investigating how pulleys can be used to multiply distance
  • Presenting information on how pulleys are used in various careers
  • Creating a picture collage of pulleys in action to incorporate an artistic element (STEAM)


Students build 3 different pulley systems using fixed and movable pulleys. For each system, they measure the force needed to lift a load, calculate the mechanical advantage, and calculate the percentage of efficiency. Materials support 10 groups of 3 students. A ring stand, ring, hanging mass set, spring scale, and meter stick for each group are needed but not supplied. Includes teacher's manual with reproducible student guide.