Pneumatics Add-on Set


Design and make a dinosaur model that has pneumatic movement.

45-90 min.
Grades 6-8

Introduction to the designing and making activities

When is it best to use these?
They are ideal to use after you have worked on the principle and main activities, and you wish to find out how well your students can find and apply knowledge in designing and problem-solving. Each assignment is cross-referenced to the principle and main models. The students will creatively adapt their previous experiences with pneumatic concepts to solve the design task.

How to use them?
The assignment page is intended to be printed and handed out to your students. The page describing objectives, motivation, etc. are for you.

How to customize the designing and making activities to fit your students.
For the less experienced designers or where you need more control over demands on materials, hand out the assignment and give them a specific design brief. A design brief can limit the range of possible solutions, and make it easier to compare the various ideas that students come up with. For experienced designers, just handing out and presenting them with the assignment section should be enough for them to start designing.

The assignment

A small film studio needs a dinosaur for a new film. Although they could can use computer-generated images for the dinosaur, the film studio has found that true-to-life, full size moving models of dinosaurs have greater appeal.
The dinosaur must be stationary, but parts of it must move as it acts out the scene.

Your task is to design and make a dinosaur model that has pneumatic movement and will work in a film scene.


Instruct the students to look at the pictures of the dinosaur or search the Internet to learn more about the appearance, shape and form of dinosaurs from different periods.

Relating knowledge, skill and understanding to the task at hand
Instruct the students to…
• Ask yourself how you might create the dinosaur?
• Ask yourself which parts of your dinosaur will move and how you might achieve this movement?
• Ask yourself how you might decorate your dinosaur so that they look as real as possible?

Encouraging Reflection

Whilst the designing and making is in progress, encourage the students to discuss…
• If the movements of the dinosaurs make sense in terms of a film scene.

When the activity is finished, encourage the students to evaluate...
• How the various dinosaur parts work?
• How well does the dinosaur work and whether it is reliable or not?
• Is the dinosaur efficient? Test this with the manometer.
• How is the model decorated to look like a dinosaur?
• What your concept for the fi lm scene looks like? Explain how this will appeal to a cinema audience.

Teacher Support

Applying knowledge of:
Product and services
Applying principles of fair testing and product reliability

Crosscutting Concepts
Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
Systems and system models
Structure and Function
Stability and change

Science and Engineering Practices
Ask questions and Defining Problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics, Informational and Computer Technology, and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Common Core Mathematics Standards
MP4 / MP5

Common Core English Language Arts Standards
RST 6-8.7

Student Material

Student Worksheet

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