Galileo Pendulum

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This is a functional model of the pendulum clock said to have been designed by Galileo. This is designed to be used as a historical teaching model for hands-on student interaction but I make no claims of its historical accuracy. I simply made it based on his drawings. Students learn about gears and gearing, stored energy (through the rubber band), the escapement mechanism, and the properties of the pendulum. The pendulum in this clock is designed to enable students to explore how weight and length impact period by making it easy for students to move washers or large nuts along notches on the pendulum (full length and half-way up).


  • Wood laser cut parts
  • Dowels


When the 8th grade history teachers wanted their students to understand the importance of time keeping in the Age of Exploration, we seized upon it as an opportunity to teach them about simple machines, pendulums , gears and stored energy.  This as made as a teaching model for them to interact with and discover those concepts themselves.

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