Hydraulic Engineering STEM Kit
Ages 9 and older
The Pathfinders Hydraulics 4-in-1 pack contains four hydraulics kits in one box. The simple machine series is designed as a hands-on introduction to hydraulics and simple machines. Most models stand between 18 and 24 cm high when fully extended and can hold things like a glass of milk, toys, and other items. The four types of wooden hydraulic machines use a small number of syringes (pistons), wooden frames, surgical tubing, and liquid. This kit is designed to introduce students to levers/linkages and hydraulic fluid power. Building the four machines (cherry picker, excavator, scissor lift and platform lifter) may inspire learners to design machines of their own.
Space Connection: Hydraulic systems are used in aviation, particularly in the landing gear of aircraft. One may wonder, though, with the three parts of a hydraulic system (pump, cylinder, and fluid), if hydraulics work in space. Hydraulics (and the associated fluids) not only work in space, they currently play an essential role in the operation of space vehicles and the International Space Station. Of course, everything is more complicated in space, but that is the beauty of working with such a simple hydraulics kit. Youth can work with the simple hydraulic machines and then use their imagination and math calculations to design hydraulic systems that can be used in space travel, as well as living and working in space for the future.