Handy Hydros


Design and build portable activities that demonstrate hydraulics in action

Design Details

  • Challenge: Facilitators can set up a challenge, such as saving a metal toy dinosaur from a vat of acid, and the user moves the magnet to complete the challenge
  • Durability: I wanted to make the activities out of everyday materials, but it still had to be durable enough to withstand being disassembled and packed for school visits.  The devices didn’t need to be bombproof because a staff facilitator mediated the activity at all times.
  • Service: I used shoulder screws, bushings, and threaded inserts (tee-nuts) to make service as easy as possible.  The syringes are held by a press-fit collar and can be removed without tools.


Handy Hydros (4)
Handy Hydros (2)
Handy Hydros (1)


SV: Completed all tasks from design to documentation.  Worked with Education staff to ensure their needs were met.