Learning objects Pulleys

TLF ID L1198

Help warehouse workers lift crates by using a rope and pulleys. Explore relationships between mass, force, distance and work. Notice that pulleys change the direction of a force and make it easier to lift loads. Solve a range of lifting problems by using combinations of worker numbers (force) and pulley numbers. This learning object is a combination of three learning objects in the same series.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students identify that pulleys change the direction of an applied force.
  • Students identify that the more pulleys used, the greater the load that can be lifted with a given force.
  • Students identify that efficient use of pulleys reduces the amount of force needed to lift an object.
  • Students identify that the amount of work needed to lift an object is constant and the greater the load, the more work required to lift it
  • Students identify mathematical relationships between mass, force, distance and work.
Educational value
  • Describes common devices that use pulleys and explains the principle that a pulley makes it easier to lift loads by changing the direction of a force.
  • Introduces common units used for measuring mass (kilogram) and force (newton).
  • Defines the concept of ‘work done’ (force x distance).
  • In a warehouse scenario, students solve a range of lifting problems by using combinations of force (worker numbers) and pulleys.
  • Students analyse data tables to work out mathematical relationships between load mass, number of pulleys, force, distance rope is pulled and work done.
  • Understanding of mechanical concepts is tested through a series of quizzes.
  • Random generation of worker strengths (newtons) supports repeated use.
Year level


Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Physical sciences
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Newton's Laws
    • Science/Force
    • Science/Work ( Science)
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Name: Rod Rees
    • Organisation: Rees Films Pty Ltd
    • Address: Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.