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)
  • Use the wire cutter to cut through the bottom of the hanger.

  • 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.

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

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

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

  • 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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