Introduction: Strawbees Hydraulic Flower
This fun project was created for the Strawbees Instructables Build Night in May.
Build your own flower that opens and closes when you move a plunger. This is a great project to teach children about hydraulics and pneumatics.
- Regular drinking straws: 10 full bendy straws, 6 medium length straws & 10 short straw pieces
- Thick straw (the ones from Starbucks are perfect)
- 2 Syringes (the oral medication syringes we used were free from the pharmacy)
- Aquarium airline tubing
- Craft paper
- Glue gun
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Step 1: Make the Centre of the Flower
Connect 5 short straw pieces with a 5-Strawbee. Add a Strawbee to the end of each piece of straw.
Using a hot glue gun, attach the middle 5-Strawbee to the plunger end of a syringe (this step should be done with adult supervision).
Connect another 5 short straw pieces with a 5-Strawbee. This time add a 2-Strawbee to the end of each piece.
Put the two parts together and secure with Strawbees.
Step 2: Make the Petals
Attach bendy straws to the 2-Strawbees. Add another 5 bendy straws and connect them with Strawbees.
Join the bendy ends of the straws with Strawbees to finish the petals.
Step 3: Add the Stem
Put one end of the tubing over the end of the syringe. You want a tight fit so it won't leak once it is filled with water.
Thread the tubing through the thick straw to create the flower's stem.
Step 4: Create a Base
Make a pyramid with 6 medium length straws and four 3-Strawbees.
Put the thick straw stem through the middle of one of the pyramid's 3-Strawbees.
Fill the syringe and tubing with water and then attach the other syringe to the open end of the tubing. This step is a little tricky as you need to get all the air bubbles out of the syringe and tubing.
Step 5: Finish the Flower
Cut a leaf for the flower out of paper and tape it to the stem.
To make it easier to open and close the flower, tape the base of the pyramid to a table or counter.