Ziplines are a method of transportation consisting of a sturdy cable set between two points on a downward slope. You may have heard of ziplines as a thrilling ride, but they are also used to transport precious cargo from the top of high slopes to the ground using only the force of gravity. This engineering activity explores how factors such as weight distribution, balance and friction affect a zipline vehicle’s performance.


Design Challenge

Create a vehicle that can transport a load, such as a passenger or cargo, from the top of a zipline to the bottom using only gravity.


Engineering Design Challenge




30+ minutes

Key Concepts

Gravity, balance, weight distribution, friction

Want a challenge?


Imagine scenarios where you might need to deliver an item via zipline.

Want a challenge?


Create a vehicle to transport a passenger, such as a small toy, from one end of a zipline to the other.

Want a challenge?


For an extra challenge, design a way to release the load, like a trap door. Add a landing zone area at the end of the zipline and see if you can drop the item into it.

If you think this looks fun, wait ‘til you try these!

Don’t miss an activity! Subscribe today. 

Were these resources helpful?

Leave our educators a tip!

When The Tech Interactive closed, our team set out to bring as many activites found in our building to the home. If you’d like to support these efforts, please consider making a gift.

© 2020 by The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 
Tax ID#: 94-2864660

Help us improve! 

  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon