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Pushing and pulling


Move animals from a boat to their new home in a zoo. Put them on a cart, then use monkeys to push or pull them up a hill. Use the minimum amount of force needed to move each animal. For example, use a single monkey to push a pelican or use three monkeys to pull a zebra. This learning object is a combination of three objects in the same series that progressively increase in difficulty.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students investigate the meaning of 'push' and 'pull' forces.
  • Students apply a force to move an object that is at rest and identify the minimum force needed to move objects having a range of weights.
Educational value
  • Introduces pushes and pulls as forces that can move an object that is at rest.
  • Represents forces in terms of 'monkey-power' and asks students to use monkeys to push or pull a cart carrying animals.
  • Challenges students to use the minimum number of monkeys required to move different-sized animals to the zoo.
  • Provides feedback, with scaffolding, for correct and incorrect student choices.
  • Provides three levels of difficulty.
Year level

1; 2; 3

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Physical sciences
  • Science/Earth and space sciences
  • Science/Science as a human endeavour
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Energy transformation
    • Science/Force
    • Science/Motion
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Tablet friendly (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.