How to Design a Model of a Pulley for Science Class

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Many simple machines use a pulley in order to change the direction of a force. Pulleys also allow you to use the force of gravity so that less initial force is required. You can design your own model of a pulley for science class, or even to be included in a science fair. All you'll need is a few simple materials you can find around the house, as well as a place to hang your model.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutter
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Wooden spool
  • String
  • Weight (e.g., book)


  1. Use the wire cutter to cut through the bottom of the hanger.

  2. Slide the spool onto one of the cut ends of the hanger and poke the other end through so that a wire end protrudes from each end of the spool.

  3. Bend down both wire ends to keep the spool in place.

  4. Hang the hanger from a sturdy place, such as a hook or a closet pole.

  5. Slide a string over the top of the spool, and tie the weight to one end of the string.

  6. Pull the other end of the string to demonstrate how a pulley works.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a spring scale to demonstrate how the pulley reduces the force needed to lift an object.
  • Be careful when handling the sharp edges of the cut wire.



  • Photo Credit pulley of a boat image by timur1970 from

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