Fluid Mechanics

Grade Level: 
High School
STEM, Technology Education
Lesson Overview:
Students will demonstrate knowledge of fluid mechanics, recognizing how fluid systems are used in the operation of engineering devices, mechanisms, and processes. To do this teams of two students will design and construct a fluid power system using surgical tube and syringes to raise the largest load.
Design constraints:
  • Fluid power system must be used
  • Models will be constructed using a maximum of ten syringes and 10’ of surgical tubing.
  • The system must be contained within a 1’x1’ area.
  • The weight will be distributed on 5” platform.
  • The weight must be raised 2” for the trial to count
·      Understand the definitions of technological terms.
·      Differentiate between pneumatic and hydraulic fluid actuated systems.
·      Design and construct a fluid power system that will lift the most weight and formulate conclusions of the performance of a fluid system.
·      Document design in notebook and present conclusions in a classroom display.
Time Required:

Projected Timeline: 2 Weeks (based on block 90-min every other day)


Week 1
Day 1
         Introduction to Fluid Power Systems
         Assign Vocabulary Terms
         Introduce Weight Lift Activity
         Check students initial sketches
Day 2
         Begin final design drawing on Inventor/
Quiz on Vocabulary Terms
         Start Building Weight Lift Systems
         Collect CAD design drawing
Week 2
Day 1
         Continue Weight Lift construction
Day 2
         Load Test systems
Day 3
         Student Presentations
         Collect Student Design Books
         Follow-Up Activity
Materials Needed:
  • Surgical Tubing
  • Syringes
  • Scrap Wood
  • Fasteners
  • Sheet Metal/Aluminum Foil
  • Graph Paper
  • Computer with design software
  • Weights
Skills/knowledge gained by learners:
  1. Identifies talents/skills within team and delegate responsibilities. Develop timelines for project completion.
  2. Brainstorm bridge ideas. Identify roles and tasks. Teams will give oral presentation to class in which they will instruct students on what was successful for them in the fluid system design and building.
  3. Teams will monitor changes in the fluid system performance with change in the tubing and syringes. They will develop alternate weight lift plans.
  4. Teams will use a variety of technology including computers (Word, PowerPoint, Inventor 8.0, & Publisher), calculator, scale, band saw, table saw, belt sander, drill press, box and pan brake, various hand tools, tensile tester.
  • Define hydraulic and pneumatic fluid flow systems, list five examples of each system, and describe how the systems are used in engineered products.
  • Research and identify ten terms related to the application of fluid mechanics and fluid actuated systems to engineered products and processes. 
  • Create a computer drawing of the fluid system-using design software. Submit an isometric and oblique drawing (side, plan, and front).
  • Create a design book, which will include initial sketches, final drawings, and daily entries.
  • Load test fluid system to failure.
  • Present fluid system outcomes to class in 5-minute presentation.
Closure (How to draw the project to a close):

Have a class discussion after the student’s presentations. Summarize why and how fluid power works. Discuss the success and failure of the student’s projects.
Suggested Assessment:
Vocabulary _______/100
Weight Lift Drawing _______/50
Weight Lift ________/100
Journal _______/100
Presentation ______/100
Team Evaluation ________/50
Total Points Possible 500
Vocabulary _________/100
Bernoulli Principle        
laminar flow        
solid body
flow rate        
terminal velocity
fluid friction        
turbulent flow
fluid head        
Pascal’s Law        
Venturi tube
pressure drop        
Weight Lift _______/100
Each model will be ranked for total weight. Your score out of 100 will be determined by how much weight you lifted compared to others in the course. The group with the most efficient will receive 100 points. Each subsequent team in order of less weight will receive 5 less points.
Project Journal ________/100
Your team will be required to maintain a daily journal of the bridge design and construction. At the end of the project this will be submitted as part of the project grade. The journal will be made up of the following sections:
·       Cover
·       Initial sketches
You will conceptualize your design and prepare a quality sketch of your fluid system. This will be the concept you develop to completion. Any changes to your weight lift will have to be sketched and documented.
·       Daily Entries
Every day keep track of your progress. Your entries must be made in the following form.
-       Date:
Tasks Accomplished
Tasks yet to be addressed
Presentation ______/100
     Power Point slides to include an Introduction slide, , a picture of your fluid power system, a slide of your initial drawing, a problems and solutions slide, & a summary slide. A time requirement of 5-10 minutes must be met.
Team Evaluation ________/50
Standards Addressed:
The National Academy of Sciences Standards:
           1.0 Science Inquiry
1.1  Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
1.2  Understandings about scientific inquiry
2.0 Physical Science
          2.2 Structure and properties of matter
          2.4 Motions and forces
4.0 Science and Technology
          4.1 Abilities of technological design
5.0 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
          5.6 Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards:
2.0 Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
          2.2 Use symbolic forms to represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures
3.0 Geometry and Spatial Sense
          3.1 Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional geometric objects
          3.2 Select and use different representational systems, including coordinate geometry and graph theory
          3.4 Use visualization and spatial reasoning to solve problems both within and outside of mathematics
4.0 Measurement
          4.1 Understand attributes, units, and systems of measurements
          6.0 Problem Solving
                   6.1 Build new mathematical knowledge through their work with problems
                   6.2 Develop a disposition to formulate, represent, abstract, and generalize in situations within and outside mathematics
                   6.4 Monitor and reflect on their mathematical thinking in solving problems
          7.0 Reasoning and Proof
                   7.2 Make and investigate mathematical conjectures
          8.0 Communication
                   8.1 Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking to communicate with others
                   8.3 Extend their mathematical knowledge by considering the thinking and strategies of others
          9.0 Connections
                   9.3 Recognize, use, and learn about mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics
          10.0 Representation
                  10.1 Create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas 
International Technology Education Association Standards:
1.0  The Nature of Technology
1.2  Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.
1.3  Students will develop an understanding of the relationships among technologies and connections between technology and other fields of study.
2.0  Technology and Society
2.2  Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment.
2.4  Students will develop an understanding of the influence of technology on history.
3.0  Design
3.1  Students will develop an understanding of the attributes of design.    
3.2  Students will develop an understanding of engineering design.
3.3  Students will develop an understanding of the role of troubleshooting, research and development,
invention and innovation, and experimentation in problem solving.
4.0  Abilities for a Technological World
4.1  Students will develop the abilities necessary to apply the design process.
4.2  Students will develop the abilities to use and maintain technological products and systems.
4.3  Students will develop the abilities to assess the impact of products and systems.
5.0  The Designed World
5.4  Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use information and communication technologies.
5.7  Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use construction technologies.
Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Fox, Robert W. and McDonald, A.T., 1985.
Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, Parker, Sybil B. (ed.), McGraw-Hill, New York.
Hydraulics I & II Activity Guide, Lab Volt, Technical Systems, Inc., 1983.
Fluid Flow: A First Course in Fluid Mechanics, Sabersky, Rolf H., et. al., Macmillan Publishing Co., 1971.
Created by: Steve Rogers, Walker Career Center

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