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Lesson Plans
Fluid Power Systems
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students



Students design and build a hydraulically operated robot arm. Using the World Wide Web, students gain background information about fluid principles, hydraulics, pneumatics, and mechanical advantage. At the conclusion of their research, students construct a prototype that satisfies a given list of criteria. Devices are then tested and checked for range of motion and satisfaction of the given criteria.

Grade Level:

8-12

Subject Matter:

Design & Technology, Physical Science, Physics

Curricular Uses:

Pascal's Law, States of Matter, Fluid Dynamics,
Gas Laws, Mechanical Advantage



Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between pressure, force, and area in fluid systems.
  • Identify and explain air pressure, Pascal's law, fluid properties, piston/cylinder combinations.
  • Name and identify examples of devices that use fluid power in every day life.
  • Calculate the mechanical advantage of a given system.


  • Use of Internet:

    Students will utilize the Internet as a research tool for background information and design ideas. Students should be encouraged to search beyond the suggested sites to find information on their own, further enhancing the feeling of discovery and ownership. They will visit several sites in order to gain background information about fluid power, Pascal's law, states of matter, and hydraulic/pneumatic systems.

    This lesson was developed by Phil Paspalas, wNetSchool Master Teacher, and was funded by the Louis Calder Foundation.