Basic Pneumatic Projects

A bulldozer is an example of one machine that operates via pneumatic principles.

Pneumatics is the study of using pressurized gas in order to make something move. Although it may not be thought about every single day, pneumatics is generally used in daily activities (such as going to a barber and sitting in the chair or a hospital bed). Making working pneumatic projects isn't always feasible in a classroom, so engage in projects that challenge your students to find these examples in their everyday lives.

1 Everyday Items

Challenge your students to find pneumatics in everyday items they use. Pneumatics are all around us, so students will simply have to think about the property of this particular branch of technology and see how it is applied in the world around them. You can ask students to think of five or six examples in their everyday lives, and go a step further by asking them to interview parents or other teachers about the use of pneumatics in their lives.

2 How Does It Work?

Once students have found examples in their everyday lives, but them in groups or individually ask them to explain how the item works. Have them explain very thoroughly through written work, or perhaps even explain it in front of the class. For extra detail, ask your students to bring in pictures and diagrams illustrating exactly how pneumatics works in this particular machine. You can even collaborate with a technology teacher and try and have students build websites based on pneumatic principles.

3 Use LEGOs

Ask students to create their own pneumatic projects using Legos or other similar building toys. Many of these come with wheels and connectors that allow the Legos to move, thus creating the perfect way for kids to create a pneumatics project using an air pump or purchase Lego Pneumatic kits for the students to recreate the project at hand from the ground up. By building the project, students will be able to get a better understanding of the work from the inside out.

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.