Introduction: Easy Hydraulic Machines - Engineering Projects for Kids

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This project is easy to build, and it allows young engineers to get hands-on experience with the power and delight of a hydraulic-powered mechanism.

For easier facilitation, you can fill the syringes with air instead of water. An air pressure-powered systems are called pneumatics.

You can find the lesson plan, 1-page project sheet, and more project ideas at


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Step 1: Hydraulic Box

You can use either hydraulics or pneumatics for this project!

Step 2: Hydraulic Drawbridge

The hydraulic bridge project was originally conceived by a student named Daniel H.D. Thanks Daniel!

Step 3: Hydraulic Fortune Teller

The hydraulic fortune teller uses the same mechanics as the Judobot to achieve 3-dimensional movement, however this project is easier to build because it doesn't need to be thoroughly designed to battle. I like the idea of a fortune teller, but the face can be replaced with other things to create a variety of projects: a catapult arm, a serving basket, cannon.... be creative!

Difficulty: 5/5

Prep work: 4/5

Setup: 2/5

Cleanup: 2/5

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