Simple & Powered Machines Set

The Lifter

Apply knowledge and skills related to pulleys, gears, forces, and fair testing.

45-90 min.
Grades 6-8

The Problem

(3-5 Minutes)

Jack, Jill and Zog have a wonderful tree house, but it’s hard work climbing up and down. It’s even more difficult if they want to stock up with supplies.

Can you help Jack and Jill come up with a solution?


Design Brief

(3-5 Minutes)

Design and make a motorized lift that can carry:
• at least 50 g (or approximately 1 weight brick)
• an object at least 20 cm into the air

  1. Make a sketch of the idea you designed and made.
  2. Label the three most important parts, explaining how they work.
  3. Suggest three improvements.

Suggested Model Solution

(20-25 minutes)

Note: You are advised not to share this image with students.


Fair testing and Fun

(15-20 Minutes)

Does it lift smoothly and at a safe speed?
The smoother it lifts, the better. If the lift is too fast, it is not safe.

Without supporting or stopping it from tilting, test how much the lift can carry.
The more it can carry without tilting, the better.

Load the lift and test how much it can carry before the motor stalls.
The more, the better.

Need Help

Look at:

Power Car


Fishing Rod


Extra Challenges

(25-30 Minutes)

Construct a mechanism that makes a sound when the supplies have reached the tree house.

Teacher Support

Students will be able to apply the knowledge and skills of:
Applying principles of fair testing and product safety

Crosscutting Concepts

Science and Engineering Practices
Asking questions and Defining Problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics, Informational and Computer
Technology, and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Common Core Mathematics Standards
7.RP.A / 6.NS.B / 6.EE.C / 7.EE.B / 8.EE.B / 8.F.B / 6.SP.A

Common Core English Language Arts
SL 6.1 / 6.2 / 7.1 / 7.4 / 8.1
RST 6-8.3 / 6-8.4 / 6-8.7
WHST 6-8.1 / 6-8.7 / 6-8.8 / 6-8.9

Student Material

Student Worksheet

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