Properties of Matter

A pneumatic machine

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

Building a pneumatic lever:

  • To allow some practical experience with using a pair of linked cylinders as levers.
  • To reinforce the idea that the forces exerted by fluids, resulting from the pressure in the fluid, are due to the collisions of particles.

What to Prepare

From the Lego Pneumatics kit (or equivalent)

  • Lego master pump
  • Lego slave cylinder
  • Lego switch and tubes
  • Lego connecting board
  • the support sheet (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

Pupils build a pneumatic machine, experiencing the spring of the air and finding by practical experience why liquids are preferred for most applications where linked cylinders are used as levers. A support sheet is used to guide them through the activity.


Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

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