The Elevator STEM Challenge

When designed well, elevators are super useful machines. They lift people up and down in tall buildings where it would be difficult to move up using a just stairway. In order to move people up, elevators must pull with a force strong enough to overcome the force of gravity that pulls down on both the elevator and the things inside it.

The basic parts of an elevator include a car, shaft, motor (cranking device), cable, and a counterweight.   The car provides a sturdy and safe area for people to ride up and down. The shaft provides the tunnel like structure where the car can move safely from floor to floor. The motor, or cranking device, provides the power needed to pull the elevator to the top.   The cable attaches to the motor, the top of the shaft, and the car.    

​In this STEM Challenge, the student’s task is to build a working model of an elevator that uses a cranking device to move an object to the top of a structure.


Elevator SC Resources: