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STEM-Maker

Curriculum

Turn Any Space Into a STEM Lab

Pulleys
Simple Machines

A STEM-Maker Level 1 Lesson for System Fluency


Educational Objectives

After this lesson, students should be able to understand and apply the
following concepts:
Basic elements of a pulley
Transfer of motion from one direction
to another
Calculate mechanical advantage
Construct a model of a pulley crane
Conduct an authentic assessment of
mathematical predictions and calculations
Intrinsic value of pulleys and the
ability to transfer that knowledge
to future applications and
solutions

Education Standards
Next Generation Science Standards

Common Core Standards

Standards for Technological Literacy

3-5-ETS1-1
3-5-ETS1-2
3-5-ETS1-3

W.5.7
W.5.9
MP.2
MP.4

2.K-2 2.3-5 2.6-8 2.9-12


8.K-2
8.3-5
8.6-8
8.9-12
9.K-2 9.3-5 9.6-8 9.9-12
10.K-2 10.3-5 10.6-8 10.9-12

MS-ETS1-1
MS-ETS1-2
MS-ETS1-3
MS-ETS1-4

HS-ETS1-1
HS-ETS1-2
HS-ETS1-3
HS-ETS1-4

RST.6-8.1
RST.6-8.7
RST.11-12.8
MP.5

WHST.6-8.9
RST.11-12.7
RST.11-12.9
SL.8.5

Welcome
From basic STEM literacies to 3D solid modeling, Rokenbok STEM-MAKER curriculum was created
to help you teach technology, engineering, and design in almost any setting. Rokenboks STEMMaker Curriculum guides fun and engaging hands-on project based challenges, and models the
progression of fluencies mastered by real designers and engineers. Lesson plans are categorized
in three progressive levels for grades 3-12 and align with NGSS and common core state standards.
Progression through these levels builds confidence, a sense of accomplishment setting the
groundwork for a love of learning, creating and making.

System Fluency

Step-by-step, single-solution
projects introduce Rokenbok
materials and how the
system works.

Creative Fluency

Realistic design briefs


challenge the student to
solve a problem basedon the
skills learned in Level 1. Students
add their own design creativity
to solve a problem using the
Rokenbok system.

Engineering Fluency

A more advanced design brief


challenges students to design
and build custom parts to
complete a project. Students
use the Rokenbok Open
Source Library and 3D solid
modeling software to adapt
and create their own parts
and tools.

Table of Contents

Level 1 Simple Machines: The Pulley


Introduction



Introduction ............................................................................................................................
Key Terms ..............................................................................................................................
Additional Resources ..............................................................................................................
Building Basics with Rokenbok ................................................................................................

Technology and Engineering



Bill of Materials ......................................................................................................................

Building a Pulley Crane ...........................................................................................................

Science Concepts

What is a Pulley? .....................................................................................................................


Types of Pulleys ......................................................................................................................

Math Concepts

Calculating Mechanical Advantage ...........................................................................................

STEM Challenges

Building with Pulleys ................................................................................................................

Assessment

What Have We Learned? .........................................................................................................

1
1
1
2
3
3-4
5
5
6
7
8

Introduction
Introduction

This Level 1 project is designed to introduce your students to one of the six simple machines,
the pulley. Students will learn how pulleys work by making their own pulley system, applying
the mathematics behind a pulley, as well as learning key terms related to the subject matter.

Key Terms

Pulley:
A wheel and axle used in conjunction with a rope or cable that

can use mechanical advantage to move heavy loads with minimal
effort.
Simple Machine:

A device that transmits or modifies force or motion.

Effort:

Force used to move an object over a distance.

Resistance/Mass:

Force to overcome in order for an object to be moved, otherwise


known as load.

Block and Tackle:


A system of two or more pulleys with a rope or pulley threaded


between them, usually used to lift or pull heavy loads.

Mechanical Advantage: T he advantage gained by the use of a mechanism in



transmitting force.

Additional Resources

http://scienceforkids.kidipede.com/physics/machines/pulley.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T7tGosXM58
http://teacher.scholastic.com/dirtrep/simple/pulley.htm

Building Basics with Rokenbok

You will be using the Rokenbok Education ROK Ed Rover or SnapStack module for
this project.

Snapping:

Rokenbok building components snap together for


a snug fit. It is easier to snap pieces together by
angling the beam into the block.
Snapping

Bracing:

Use braces to strengthen any Rokenbok build.


Girders, 2-way braces, 3-way braces, and
corbels are all commonly used for this purpose.
Bracing

Disassemble:

Always use the Rokenbok key tool when taking apart


pieces. Insert the tab on the key into the engineered
slot on each piece and twist slightly. This will protect
your fingers and minimize broken pieces.
Disassemble

Take Inventory:

It is recommended to take inventory of all components at the end of each build and
a complete check at the end of the school year. Replacement pieces can be found
online at Rokenbok.com/Education

Component Care:

All building components should be cleaned regularly with a mild detergent and water.

Technology & Engineering


Building a Pulley Crane

Follow the step-by-step instructions to build a pulley crane.

Bill of Materials

Makes one pulley crane.

3x

10x
2x

9x

Building the Base

Building the Beam Assembly

5x

5x
6x

Technology & Engineering


3

Building the Lever Assembly

Build Vertical Beam Assembly

Build Horizontal
Beam Assembly

Science Concepts
What is a Pulley?

The pulley is a simple machine that consists of a wheel and axle system that uses a cable, rope
or string in order to help lift heavy objects more easily.

Types of Pulleys

Additional pulleys can be added to increase the mechancial advantage and make it easier to lift
or pull heavy objects, but more rope or string is required to lift them.
There are three main types of pulley systems: fixed, moveable and compound. A fixed pulleys
wheel and axle stay in one place. A fixed pulley does not give you any mechanical advantage,
however, it does change the direction of the force. In example 1, the input force is pulling down
which in turn, moves the load up. A moveable pulley is a pulley that is free to move up and
down with the load. It provides mechanical advantage as less effort is required to move your
load. In example 2, the input force needed to lift the load is less but notice that more rope is
needed in order to lift the load. The third type of pulley is the compound pulley, which consists
of combinations of fixed and movable pulleys.

Fixed Pulley
Fixed Pulley

Fixed Pulley
Effort

Effort

Load

Effort

Load

(resistance/mass)

Single Fixed Pulley

Fixed Pulley

Moveable
Pulley

Load

(resistance/mass)

Single Fixed/Single
Moveable Pulley

Moveable
Pulley

(resistance/mass)

Double Fixed/Single
Moveable Pulley

Math Concepts
Calculating Mechanical Advantage

Mechanical advantage with a pulley is achieved by adding additional pulleys that disperse the
load over several segments of the rope, thus allowing heavy loads to be lifted with minimal effort.
If you tried to lift a 75 pound rock with just your muscles, you would have to be pretty strong to
lift it, but by using a pulley system to lift the rock, we find that it is quite easy to do because of the
mechanical advantage of the pulley system. Use the math formulas below to figure mechnical
advantage of a pulley system.

Single Fixed Pulley


MA =

Load= 10 = 1
Effort = 10

Single Fixed/Single Moveable Pulley


MA =

Load= 10 = 2
Effort = 5

20 Feet
10 Feet

10 Feet

Load
Effort
10 Pounds

(resistance/mass)

10 Pounds

To raise a 10 pound weight 10 feet high


would require an effort of 10 pounds
and you would have to pull the rope 10
feet in order to raise it 10 feet.

10 Feet
Effort
5 Pounds

Load
(resistance/mass)

10 Pounds

By adding a movable pulley we can


achieve mechanical advantage because
the load is carried by two sections of
rope and the effort is less, but you
would have to pull the rope twice as far.

Therefore, no mechanical advantage is


realized.

STEM Challenges
What Can You Design?

These STEM Design and Engineering Challenges are designed to introduce you to the pulley and
how it can be used to make work easier for many different tasks. Try out one of the STEM Design
and Engineering Challenges below or design your own project using the pulley.

Building with Pulleys

You can use your pulley crane to lift various


objects. Snap on some wheels to make it mobile,
or redesign it so that it will rotate on the base.
Another option might be for you to build a tall crane
or elevator system that would be able to lift objects
up to different levels.
Use the science concepts and math formulas for
determining the mechanical advantage of your
finished project to see how this unique simple
machine is used to solve very complex problems.

Other Uses for the Pulley

The pulley is a very useful simple machine. Not only can the mechanical
advantage of a pulley be useful in lifting heavy loads, it can also be used in
many other ways. Some of these include:

Transfer of motion from one direction to another direction

Ski lifts and gondolas

Tow trucks and come-a-longs

Pulley

Assessment
What Have We Learned?
1.



What are the two necessary parts for a pulley system?


a.
base and axle
b.
lever arm and fulcrum
c.
wheel/axle and rope or cable
d.
weight and effort

2.



What type of pulley system is shown in this example?


a.
single fixed pulley
b.
double fixed pulley
c.
single fixed / double moveable pulley
d.
single fixed / single moveable pulley

3.

Use the information below to determine the mechanical advantage of the pulley.
MA =

Load = ?
Effort = ?

=?
20 Feet

MA = ______

a.
b.
c.
d.

MA = 2
MA = 3
MA = 4
MA = 16

Effort
2 Pounds

5 Feet

Load
(resistance/mass)

8 Pounds

4.
Force to overcome an object to be moved, otherwise known as load, is the definition for
_____?
a. effort
b. leverage
c. motion
d. resistance
5.



Which of the following examples would most likely use a pulley system?
a. hammer
b.
block and tackle
c. screwdriver
d. file

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