Hydraulic Claw

  1. Grades 6-8


Put water to work with hydraulics! Engineer your own hydraulic lifting claw with tubes, syringes, and water before putting it through a series of fun challenges. Then, explore how hydraulic systems work and see how they can be incorporated into heavy machinery, art installations, and even animatronics!

Academic Standards

  1. MS-PS2-2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  2. RI.3.3: English Language Arts > Reading: Informational Texts

Why it’s awesome

  1. Water at work

    Build hydraulic systems and experience hands-on engineering.

  2. Make-it-move mechanics

    Experiment with building linkages to create a grabber claw.

  3. Engineering design challenges

    Grab, lift, and move to put your hydraulic claw to the test.

What’s included?

  • 27 chipboard pieces

  • 6 syringes

  • 3 tubes

  • 30 brads

  • sticky foam sheet

  • 12 zip ties

  • 2 clothespins

  • illustrated instruction booklet

  • Tinker Zine

Topics explored

  1. Hydraulic systems

  2. Gases and liquids

  3. Engineering + design

From the desk of the product designer:

Behind the design

This is hands down (or claws down?) one of my favorite projects because it allows for a ton of customization. Plus, the motion of the hydraulics is so mesmerizing to watch.

- KiwiCo Product Designer

By the numbers


Hydraulic systems included


Construction pieces included


Customization opportunities

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