Science Models
Science Fair Projects

Published on Sep 05, 2023

Snack Machine


The objective: We are going to invent a snack machine that will open your snack bags, and pour them into a bowl. We will use a pulley, a wedge and an inclined plane.


In school, we are learning about simple machines. We are learning about what mechanical advantage simple machines give us. Our class has been learning about forces like gravity and friction. We have also been learning about how
work = force x distance.

A pulley is a mechanism that helps people in many different ways. A pulley is a simple machine that helps people lift things up that are heavy, awkward to carry, or place something. Just think about sailboats; I have rigged a sailboat, and without pulleys, it would be a lot more difficult. Flagpoles also use pulleys, because they go too high for people to hang them themselves. Even blinds use pulleys; you pull a string, and the blinds move. Pulleys are made with metal and rope,with a rope slid through a piece that is screwed in the middle (giving it the ability to spin), with a knot tied at the end so that it does not come out. When you pull the rope, whatever is on the other end of the rope will rise from it’s position either hanging or sitting.

An inclined plane is an angled plane that helps things slide down it. For example, a playground slide or a ramp. For inclined planes to work, it needs gravity in order for the object to slide down it. Inclined planes can be used for play, (roller coasters, slides, etc.) or it can be used in a machine. It is just used to carry heavy things down or up a slanted object.

A wedge is a simple machine that can do many different things. A wedge that splits is one example of a wedge. This kind of wedge can cut or split things in half, e.g. an axe. A wedge that cuts is like a wedge that splits, except it is thinner and not as strong, and cuts things easier, e.g. a saw. Another type is a wedge that tightens. You might have heard of the saying “Wedged In”- This is where it comes from. For example, a doorstep wedge is used for tightening - making the door stay opened. A wedge that holds puts two things together, and makes them stay that way, for example a nail

The wheel and axle is one of the six simple machines, identified by Renaissance scientists drawing from Greek texts on technology. The wheel and axle is generally considered to be a wheel attached to an axle. so that these two parts rotate together in which a force is transferred from one to the other. In this configuration a hinge, or bearing, supports the rotation of the axle.

Gravity is what keeps everything in a planet’s atmosphere. Every planet has even just a little bit of gravity. There are laws to gravity, one of them is that if you drop an object from a height it will fall to the ground. Gravity is what makes weight and you can resist gravity if you have enough force and speed. That is what gravity is.

These are all of the simple machine and the force we will use to make our snack machine. We will have a compartment in the back, (giving the ability to store snacks). Then, the machine process starts. A pair of scissors will be attached to a pulley, in which when you pull it, it will activate the scissors, and open what is beside it. Next, a pulley is attached to a piece of cardboard, and when you pull it, the end of the cardboard will rise, making it an inclined plane, giving the bag the ability to slide down, into a bowl, in which we will have another pulley attached to so you can pull it out from the front.


We are trying to create a machine, to open a snack bag using pulleys, a wedge and an inclined plane


Our plan will be tricky to do, yet I think we will get away with it.


• Cardboard Box

• Spray paint

• String

• Pulleys

• S-Clips

• Extra cardboard

• And loads of duct tape


1. Paint box black.

2. Cut hole in the middle of the bottom of the box, and one at the top so you can see what is happening inside.

3. Use cardboard to duct tape a shelf in the box.

4. Hang a pulley from the roof, in which when you pull it, it will activate a lever, and an inclined plane.

5. Hang a box cutter from roof

6. Have a string to pull the box cutter from the front

7. Have a bowl attached to a string, hanging out the front


Our hypothesis was way off. Rather than opening snacks, we made basically a gumball machine using a lever, an inclined plane and a pulley. A PVC pipe is sitting, and when you pull the pulley attached to the roof, it rises. This makes the lever, and the inclined plane work. Then, as in our original plan, pours them into a bowl.

Snack Machine

Rather than using our older plan, this one is going nice and smoothly. Our original plan, which was to have a knife attached to a string, would just be way too hard to do. We are basically making a gumball machine. Itwould also work withanything small, like M&M's or Skittles. I think our new plan is cooler either way.

First, we took a thin, white PVC pipe, and drilled a hole through the top, so it had the screw-like inclined plane. Then we could screw a bolt into the side. We poked two holes on each side of the box, and we put the PVC pipe through it.

Snack Machine

Then, ready to go, we had another, bigger PVC pipe with a hole drilled into the middle, and a PVC pipe add-on, with two ends, which we use to pour the snacks into the top. Once we have put the white one through it, we then use screws to make it so the PVC pipe will not stick our the ends.

Then what we did, is we drilled a hole in the top of the PVC pipe add-on piece, and we tied a string to it, which it looped through a pulley, which goes out to the front, and has a handle to pull, rather than grabbing a thin piece of string. When you pull this, it is connected to a pulley, which makes an inclined plane and a lever.


Well, we have come to a conclusion that our original plan was to hard, and we would waste too much time. So, rather than a pulley, a lever, an inclined plane and a wedge, we are using a pulley, an inclined plane and a lever. What we have decided, is that rather than having the main purpose of the machine being to open snacks, it is only to dispense them-much like a gumball machine.

Our new plan consists of the box, 2 PVC pipes, and a pulley and string. What will happen, is a hole drilled in to the side of the PVC pipe will have another PVC pipe screwed into it. Then, we will have a pulley, doing action, rising one side that is closer to the ground up into the sky. This is making the action of the lever, and the inclined plane. The pipe is full of candy, and it will pour it into a bowl, as in our original plan.

Through the PVC pipe going along in the middle, we have drilled holes on each side. What we did, is we took 2 bolts, and screwed them into each side, so the PVC pipe doesn't have to stick out, and take up more space. We will have a pulley attached to a handle, which when you pull, it makes a lever and an inclined plane go into action


• Armentrout, Patricia. The Pulley. Vero beach, FL:Rourke, 1997

• Armentrout, Patricia. The Inclined Plane. Vero beach, FL:Rourke, 1997

• Armentrout, Patricia. The Wedge. Vero beach, FL:Rourke, 1997

• Various Contributors. Gravitation. (2014, March 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:17, April 13, 2014, from

Science Fair Project done By Patricia