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Hydraulic Car

Source Institutions

    Community Science Workshop Network

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Hydraulic Car

In this activity, learners build cars using syringes and water-powered hydraulics. Learners construct the car frame out of cardboard and set up a hydraulic system to raise and lower the car. Use this project to introduce learners to incompressible fluids and Pascal's Principle.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 Craft sticks
  • 4 Wheels (poker chips, lids, etc.)
  • 4 Syringes
  • 2 Plastic tubes that fit on syringe nipples, 2' each
  • 2 Straws
  • 2 Bamboo skewers
  • 1 Wood piece, 1" x 3" x 1/2"
  • Cardboard
  • Tape, masking
  • Drill, small nail bit
  • Scissors
  • Paint, markers, etc. for decorating car


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All Rights Reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, ©2011


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