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‘Abstract’. What did you do and why was it important to you? What were your main findings from the project?

For my project, I wanted to design something that could attach to the human body to enhance it's lifting strength. I decided I wanted to do this when I thought about how extremely weak I am. Sometimes my family makes me move furniture or other heavy objects and I really don't like that. I'm really weak and lifting super heavy stuff is a real drag for me. I thought that maybe other people may have this problem too. Not everyone on this earth is a toned bodybuilder who can lift more than one of QA. Sometimes, lifting heavy things in a working environment can cause injuries or strain on a person. This inspired me to not only create something that was able to support a worker but to also give them extremely enhanced strength. To create this project, I needed to have a thorough understanding of how hydraulics worked. This is the method that I chose to give a person additional strength. Hydraulics work under pascals law which states that if a change in the pressure of a fluid occurs in one place, it is transmitted throughout the container. This can be applied to a hydraulic system. One side of the system which has a small area is pushed down. The other side will rise because the fluid cannot be compressed. However, this side has a larger area, and the force will be greater. This allows massive forces to be created from significantly smaller ones.

What were the main challenges for you doing this project? What were your strengths and what were your weaknesses?

This project had one main challenge for me. This was understanding how hydraulics worked and how they were applied in machines. As mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to model my design after a crane like this:

This is because both an arm and crane function to lift things. The hydraulics pistons allow it to expand and contract to move into position to lift an object. The main strength of my product is in the application of knowledge. I know how hydraulics work and was able to apply it to my own design. I was able to also apply previous units with my torque calculations which helped me determine how much the lift could hold. However, one weak point of my project is that it is not the most exciting. Media such as videos are particularly exciting because they can easily engage an audience with things like music or moving visuals. This is a bit harder to accomplish in a written piece. I tried to make my infographic look as nice as possible so that the audience wouldn't be bored out of their mind.

My final product:

Physics Engineering Project

Works Cited:

Brain, Marshall. “How Hydraulic Machines Work.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 8 Mar. 2018, science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/hydraulic1.htm.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Pascal's Principle.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Apr. 2018, www.britannica.com/science/Pascals-principle.

Serway, Raymond. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Michelle Julet. Brooks/Cole, Thompson Learning: Belmont, CA. 2004.

Woodford, Chris. “How Hydraulics Works | Science of Hydraulics.” Explain That Stuff, Explain That Stuff, 26 Apr. 2019, www.explainthatstuff.com/hydraulics.html.


How well are you doing?

Currently, I have completely finished the brainstorming and research process. Now all that's left for me is to complete the design of my robotic arm assistor and to complete my product which will be an infographic. The research process took far less time than I expected, taking me only a couple days to complete it all. The part that's taking me the most time is the design. For this, I need to find parts that are compatible and make sure that this project is actually feasible. I have been basing my design on a couple thing. First is this picture of a fictional exo-suit:

In this photo, a small hydraulic cylinder is placed on the arm and attached to the rest of the body. However, because it is fictional, there are many unrealistic aspects to it (not including the sword). First is the small size of the machine as a whole. hydraulic pumps need a lot of pressure to be able to lift extremely heavy objects. This usually means that the pumps that operate at very high pressures are also quite large, and quite heavy as well. Ideally, I want to be able to fit the whole hydraulic system into about the size of a backpack so someone can carry it. I've also taken inspiration from hydraulic cranes like this one:

In this photo, the crane's arm is operated by two hydraulic cylinders. One that allows it to expand and contract while another one raises and lowers it. I want my device to do a similar thing, being able to move along with the straightening and contracting of a person's arm.


What have you learned so far?

I have learned two main things over the course of this project. First is how hydraulics work. Hydraulics work under pascal's principle. This principle states that if there is a pressure change in one area of an incompressible fluid, the change will transmit so that the change occurs everywhere. And this is the basically how a hydraulics cylinder works.

A small and fast force which is applied to the left will change to a slow but powerful force on the right. This is because the same amount of pressure is acting on the right, just in a much larger area, effectively multiplying the force.  I've also learned to calculate the power of a hydraulic cylinder. It can be given by this equation:

This essentially means that a greater force can be exerted with greater area or pressure. The fluid is pumped through a small area with great amounts of pressure to a larger area. This allows hydraulics to lift massive amounts of weight including cars.

For my physics engineering project, I want to figure out a way to construct a robotic attachment that can mount on your arm to assist in lifting heavy objects. To do this I will have to learn about a few specific things. The first is how hydraulics work and how I can apply them to my own arm mount.  Hydraulics is a common tool and lifting heavy objects and I plan on including them in my design. I will also need to know how a regular robotic arm works without it being attached to a person's body. Hydraulic arms such as this one below are stand alone.

Robot Arm Technology

They are by themselves and can lift individual objects and complete tasks it is programmed to do. To execute my project, I will need to figure out how I can mount a similar robotic arm onto the arm of a living person. I also need to think about cost-effectiveness and using materials in a way so that people can actually afford it.

Here is a timeline for my project to complete it on time:

May 2nd: Complete first blog post.

May 8th: Complete research on how hydraulics work especially in a robotic arm

May 10th: Complete research on what materials I can use and how to attach it to a person

May 14th: Complete design of the arm

May 16th: Finish my method of presentation


  • ‘Abstract’. What did you do and why was it important to you? What were your main findings from the project?

For this project, I decided to take a look at how climate change would impact the amount of potatoes used for McDonalds french fries. I wanted to do this because McDonalds is such a large presence in the United States. I was curious to know how such a large company would be impacted by the inevitable changes to out climate. This was important to me because I like food.

All I wanted to know was how some delicious food would be impacted by climate change. And what I found was not exactly a positive result. I discovered that crop yields around the world would severely decrease meaning that we would have less potatoes. Less potatoes means either less fries or the same amount of fries just with more filler. And that makes me sad.

Something else that shocked me in my research is how many fillers McDonalds uses in their fries. There are a total of 19 ingredients in McDonalds fries when really the only two should be oil and potatoes. Thats not going to stop me from eating them but it's just something to think about.

  • What were the main challenges for you doing this project? What were your strengths and what were your weaknesses?

The main weakness and challenge that I faced during this project was connecting everything all back to physics. My project was starting to look like a biology project when I realised that all I needed to do was focus more on climate change. So that's what I did. I turned my focus away from how potatoes grow and added more information on how climate change would impact that.

I think that the production of my final product is pretty strong. I put lots of time into it and I've never done anything like it before. I had a good time making it and I hope to do a similar project in the future.

  • Your final product.

Here is a link to my final product:


What have you learned towards your research questions so far?

Throughout the course of my research, I have learned many things about potatoes and the environment in which they grow. I have also been able to learn about how drops yields will decrease with climate change. My question is in what ways does climate change influence the growth of potatoes used in the fast food industry? I have already been able to answer this question and currently working on a video script. 

What has been challenging for you? How have you managed to work around your problems?

One of the challenges that I have faced is linking my topic back to physics. It sort of seemed more like a biology project than a physics project being all about potatoes. What I have done about this is focused a bit more on the climate change aspect of the question, which is the physics part of the project. Instead of using a lot of information about potatoes and how they grow, I've slightly shifted my focus to how climate change impacts this growth.

How is your timeline going? What have you managed to achieve and how is your timeline evolving to meet the deadlines.

My timeline is going very well. I am currently on schedule to complete the project on time. I have been meeting all the deadlines I have set for myself. I don't expect to be very stressed throughout the rest of the project. I have not needed to change my schedule at all to meet any deadlines. I have managed to complete all my research and can now complete the script for my video.

What are you planning on doing and why is it so important to you? Research question and key questions.

For this project, I plan on researching the impact that climate change will have on potato growth and how that will affect the fast food industry. As a young boy living in Idaho, I was constantly exposed to agriculture and more specifically, potato farming. All around, I could see that potatoes were a staple in the American diet and I want to know what will happen if the amount of potatoes available to the American population decreases.

What are you going to make (the product)?

I plan to make a video for this project. I want the video to be fun and not too formal but still able to get an educational message across to an audience.

Your timeline for completion - what you are doing when, what do you need to learn and when are you going to learn it

Our final due date is December 12. By December 6, I want to have all my research completed for my video. The things that I need to know by this date are where fast food outlets get their potatoes, what conditions are ideal for growing potatoes, will climate change impact these areas, and will potatoes still be able to be grown in these conditions. Learning everything by December 6 gives me almost one week to script, film, and edit my video.