Science Challenge Number Three

It’s that time of the week! Yes, time for Challenge Number Three. Year 3 and 4 are learning about the Egyptians, so they might be especially interested in this one. However, these challenges are open to everyone – even better work with your brothers and sisters!

The Background Science

The ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids may have been able to move massive stone blocks across the desert by wetting the sand in front of a something built to pull the heavy objects.  This image taken from a wall painting in the tomb of Djehutihotep shows a figure on the sledge pouring water in front of it.

In the UK there are many stone circles which required stone age man to move huge blocks. There are may ideas about how this could have been achieved from using tree trunks as rollers to using wet seaweed as a lubricant.

All of these methods work because they help to reduce friction between the block of stone and the ground when it is pulled. This means that the pulling force can result in a bigger movement pf the stone for less effort.

Your Challenge…

Think like an Egyptian and build a device to move stones!

Gather anything you need from around the house…A mix of building materials (card, foil, sticks, cardboard tubes, string, tape, glue, elastic bands, packaging and other bits of recycling), and a  selection of stones or pebbles for you to test (or you could use plastic construction blocks).

Remember to take a photo and email it to Mrs Byrne, I can’t wait to see what you invent! 

Here’s Marcel and Felik idea! Incredible thinking skills at work here boys! Your invention can carry a lot of weight!



  1. Wow that sound like fun! I am going to build a sort of trailer made out of my dads big boxes and use wheels made out of cardboard or rubber. I hope it works!

  2. We will build something that it will carry and pull the stones. Made of tins, cardboards,string and other resources.

    • Great – I can’t wait to see it. Remember to send a photo to share with the school community. Very exciting!

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