How to Use Syringes to Teach Hydraulic Concepts

Written by sam grover
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How to Use Syringes to Teach Hydraulic Concepts
Syringes are basic hydraulic systems. (syringe image by NatUlrich from

Syringes are essentially simple hydraulic systems, as they operate by moving a liquid from one place to another. The difference is that a hydraulic system uses the liquid to move another object; syringes just move the liquid. This means that syringes are the most basic form of hydraulics. They are, therefore, ideal for teaching how hydraulics work.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Find two syringes. You do not need the needles on the ends. In fact, this explanation is easier without the needles.

  2. 2

    Use the syringe to suck some water up. Use this as a visual aid to explain how fluid goes from areas with high pressure to areas with low pressure. Sucking the air out of the syringe reduces the pressure in the syringe, which makes the water flow into it.

  3. 3

    Shoot some fluid out to further explain by showing the converse.

  4. 4

    Affix one syringe to the other.

  5. 5

    Shoot some water from the first syringe to the second syringe. The fact that the stopper in the second syringe is pushed up will explain how hydraulics work, as you have essentially created a small hydraulic system.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a wide syringe and a narrow syringe to really make your point. This will show how a narrow part of hydraulic system is compressed more strongly than a wide part, which means it is pressurised more. The fact that the wide syringe does not rise as high will show this.

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