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Project Assignment Sheet

Hydraulics Project


The story: You and 3 of your friends are driving to college with all your stuff when the radio says a storm is fast approaching.   You ignore the warnings and keep driving, only to get caught in the middle of a flash flood.  You pull over on a hill to wait out the storm.  When the storm passes you are stranded on the hill with all your stuff.  Luckily, there is a bunch of debris around you, including some hydraulic pistons, some rope and some large flotation devices.  What are the odds?!?! You must build a contraption to get yourself and all your stuff to another hill where you can get help.



Your mission:  Using the hydraulics provided, build a crane to lift and move a series of objects.  Your crane must be built onto a boat so that you may move the objects across the water. 



Requirements and expectations for project construction:


-Your crane must be able to pick up and move a series of objects from one side of a body of water to the other. 

-You must use different size syringes to multiply either force or distance to help in this process. 

-Your crane must float, so that you can get across the water. 

-You must be able to operate your crane without touching the boat in any way. 

-You may use the yarn to pull your boat from one side of the water to the other




-your boat must fit in a box that is 30cmx30cm (have a base with an area less than 900cm2, with no side longer than 30cm)

- Your materials:

-6 hydraulic syringes

-hydraulic tubing

-yarn (rope)

-flotation devices (junk from home)

-hot glue

-popsicle sticks

-paper clips

-additional materials you chose to bring in (simple machines)



 Hydraulics project write up (Due Monday 3/5)


Requirements and expectations for you project write up: (each student must complete their own)

-Written explanations:

            -How did you use the engineering design process? (step by step)

-What is buoyancy? Why do things float or sink? How do we experience

buoyancy on a daily basis?  Give 2 examples.

            -What are hydraulics?  Why are they used? How can they multiply force? 

Give 2 examples of hydraulics in real life.

            -What is pressure?  How do we experience pressure is our daily lives?  Give 2

examples of pressure in your life.

            -What was the hardest part of building your project?

            -Give an example of a challenge you faced in building your project and

explain how you overcame it.




-Calculate the volume of your boat’s hull

-Measure the mass of your boat

-How much additional weight could your boat hold without sinking?

-Assuming you can push the piston in your first syringe with a force of 5


-Measure the distance you push the syringe and calculate the work             done to the syringe.

-Measure the distance your final syringe travels.  What would be the

 force on your final syringe?  How much work could that syringe do?

-What is the area of the piston of your final syringe?

-How much pressure is on this syringe?

-Give this pressure in both psi and N/m2


            -Draw an orthographic projection (all 3 angles) of your boat’s hull

            -draw one view of your crane closed

            -draw one view of your crane open

            -include a photo or video of your project in action