A pneumatic system uses pressurised air to transmit energy. For this chick and egg craft I used two syringes. The system starts with the syringe inside the box in the closed position ( syringe fully down ) and with the syringe outside the box in the open position ( syringe fully open ). When the syringe outside the box is pushed down air is forced through the tubing and into the second syringe pushing the plunger upwards opening the box. This pneumatics project is a great Easter STEM Challenge!

Penumatic egg - EASTER STEM challenge

It’s a really simple mechanism that can be used for lots of crafts and activities.

We made this moving K’nex crane in the same way a few years ago.

Knex pneumatic crane

Examples of pneumatics

Examples of pneumatics used in everyday life are:

Pneumatic drills like you see on the side of the road during roadworks.

Air brakes on vehicles.

Why use pneumatics

Air is light.

Pneumatic systems are usually safe as there are no sparks from electricity. This makes them great for use in areas where a spark could cause an explosion, such as a mine.

If there is any leakage, it’s not messy.

Pneumatic systems can usually absorb shock as air is compressible.

Pneumatics Project – Chick and Egg

You’ll need:

A shoe box with a hinged lid

Two syringes and plastic tubing

Cardboard/cardstock or thick paper – white, yellow and orange



How to make an opening chick egg

Cut out a large egg shape that is big enough to cover the side of your shoe box.

Work out where you want the egg to open an cut a zig zap line the whole way across.

Use tape to attach the top of the egg to the shoe box lid ( on the side ) and the bottom to the main part of the box.

opening chick egg - pneumatics project

Cut out a chick shape and attach him to the inside of the box.

Carefully poke a hole in the bottom of the shoebox and thread one end of the tubing through to the inside of the box.

Attach a syringe to the end and use tape to attach the top of the syringe to the inside lid of the box.

Test your system!

How does it work?

Air inside the first syringe is forced through the tubing and into the second syringe with enough energy to push the syringe in the box upwards.

Pneumatics and Hydraulics

Pneumatics use gases that are easily compressed such as air, while hydraulics use liquids that are harder to compress.

There are huge amounts of energy in moving air and moving water.

Moving air is used to create electricity by windmills and moving water is used in hydro-electric power stations to make electricity.

The power of tides and waves are also potential sources of energy and are more reliable than the sun and wind.

Easter STEM Challenge - opening chick eggs - great pneumatic project for kids

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Originally posted at Science Sparks