Lesson: 90 minutes, Activity: 30+ minutes

Grades: 1-12

Zipline lesson

Students will use ideas about pushes and pulls (forces) to design a device that can transport cargo along a zipline safely.

Grade Levels: 1-12

Lesson: 90 minutes, Activity: 30+ minutes

Concepts/Skills: Forces, balanced and unbalanced forces, gravity


  • Identify the need for a process to slow a zipline device.
  • Identify criteria and constraints of the slow-the-device process.
  • Apply ideas about forces to design, test, and revise a slow-the-device process using provided materials.
  • Evaluate the different solutions (processes) based on test results to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints.

Phenomenon Video: 

Ziplines are used all over the world for lots of different reasons. Take a look at this unique example. What does this engineering story make you wonder?