Hydraulic Claw Activity


Single SKU: 1824-59

10 Pack SKU: 1824-60

Design and build a hydraulic claw that works like the ones in the arcade. Move the upper cylinder and watch your claw open and close below. We have documents to get you started, but the final claw design up to you. Can you design a claw to pick up specific objects (worms, marshmallows, balls)? Take a look at the photos above for ideas and inspiration.

Hydraulic Claw Educational Goals

  • Utilize the design and engineering process
  • Encourage creativity, problem solving and critical thinking
  • Learn about simple machines and fluid power
  • Apply the scientific method
  • Innovate (design and engineer your own unique claw)

Hydraulic Claw Activity Document Downloads

Overview Thumbnail

Download the Overview

Brief overview about the TeacherGeek Hydraulic Claw documents, activity procedure, educational alignment standards, concepts, vocabulary, background information, and supplementary resources.

Overview - PDF
Overview - Editable Word Document



Build Guide Thumbnail

Download the Build Guide

This brief Build Guide will help you get started designing and engineering your own unique claw. With three easy examples to follow, students/kids will learn the some of the basic mechanisms of claw design.

Build Guide - PDF
Build Guide - Editable Word Document



Download the Design & Engineering Challenges

Design, build and test different End Effector configurations during these engineering challenges. Experiment with material, shape and weight to succeed in competition. Remember, your design is never truly finished, just evolving. Print Engineering Notebook Pages for use with these challenges.

Design & Engineering Challenges - PDF
Design & Engineering Challenges - Editable Word Document

Mariana Trench Deep Dive - PowerPoint Presentation

Download the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook

Available at two different learning levels, the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook is designed to help students cycle through the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. It is recommended that extra pages are printed and on-hand during activities.

Simple Engineering Notebook - PDF
Engineering Notebook - PDF


On the Web...

[powr-video-gallery id=d245f287_1469565993]

TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

What tools will you need to do this activity?


Process Description

Recommended Tool 

Alternate Tool


Cutting dowels, strips, recycling bin items, etc.


Saw, Pruning Shears


Change splined holes in components from press fit (dowels press and stay) to loose fit (dowels are able to slide and rotate).


#3 Drill Bit and Drill


Tighten and loosen screws



Sets of tools can be found here.


Make your claw even better by incorporating recycling bin material.

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Standards Download - PDF
NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet