Grade 12 – RSM07 – Boat Pulley


Project Description: 

In this engaging build, students will create a powered energy “boat release system” that allows them to explore some interesting physics concepts concerning pulleys and energy. In this lesson students will begin to understand pulleys and pulley selection in real work scenarios. First, the class will discuss how friction, energy, and efficiency come into play and dictate the kinds of pulleys we choose to use for the real world. They will also practice how to measure energy levels used by different pulley configurations.  Students will determine a theoretical amount of work required to move a weight a certain distance up a ramp in a 1,2, and 3 pulley system. Then, they will compare this to the actual energy reading they will see on the energy meter attached to the boat pulley.  This will have students looking at losses in a system and how they can optimize the efficiency of simple machines.


In this lesson the core concepts focused on will be: 

Forces acting on a vertical pulley system
Acceleration of a pulley system
Coefficient of friction
2-dimensional problems using free-body diagrams
Actual/theoretical work calculations
Stating where loss occurs in the system


Note: All lessons include a presentation and a hands on building period which they then use to perform various tests.



  • $300 / workshop for a class of up to 30 students
  • Price includes all materials, two qualified facilitators and all consumables required




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