How to make a water pump for a school project

Build a water pump that will generate enough force to power a water wheel with pulley that can lift heavy weights.
Essential Questions:

  • Why is access to clean water so important?
  • How can we gather or collect clean water that people can drink?
  • What simple machines can help us to generate power with water? How?
  • Why is the waterwheel “one of the five inventions that changed the world?”
  • How can we build prototypes of water pumps from everyday materials to explore engineering of these mechanisms? Water pumps


  • Nearly 1 Billion People on this planet do not have access to clean drinking water.
  • Every Day 4,500 children under the age of 5 die from water-related diseases.
  • The world is thirsty because we are hungry.

How to make a water pump for a school project

1. Coin Pump


  • Empty film can
  • Hole
  • Coin smaller than film can diameter
  • Bicycle Spoke
  • Bottle cap piston to fit freely in film can
  • Thread end
  • Cello tape
  • Bicycle spoke nipple nuts
coin pump

Step 1:

  • Big hole in base of film can
  • Make hole with needle near top edge
  • Make hole in centre of lid to free-kit cycle spoke
  • Make hole in centre of plastic lid(piston)
coin pump

Step 2:

  • Bicycle spoke connecting rod
  • Fix bicycle with two nipple nuts
  • Stich plastic flap with glue to make open/close valve
  • Bottle lid(piston) fits snugly in film can
  • Drop coin in firm can. The Coin makes suction vale
coin pump
coin pump

Different way of making a suction valve

  • Film can with hole to tight-fit pen body
  • Cut balloon
  • Fit balloon on Pen Tube
  • Insert pen in base hole of film can

Step 3

  • First make holes with a Poker or Needle.
  • Later widen them by rotating a slant scissors
coin pump
coin pump

Step 4

  • Connecting rod (Bicycle spoke)
  • Nipple nut one
  • Delivery valve
  • Plastic up/down flap
  • Nipple nut two

Step 5

  • Pump assembly
  • Cycle spoke connecting rod
  • Plastic flap delivery valve
  • Two nipple nuts. One above other below.
  • Bottle lid piston
  • Water outlet
  • Film can cylinder
  • Big hole in base covered by Coin
coin pump

Step 6 – Complete:

  • Place pump in water bowl and move bicycle spoke up & down. A jet of water will squirt out of the outlet!
  • Make several holes to make a fountain!


2. Water Pump For Kid – Top 9 Favorites

RankingsBrandEditor's RatingProduct's ImagePrice








Ideas In Life


Imperial Toy


Mix Maxx



3. Pipe and Bottle Cap Pump



  • PVC Pipe
  • Bottle Cap
  • Spoke Nuts
  • Cycle Spoke
  • Film Can Cap
  • Cello tape
  • Rubber Disc

Step 1

  • Stick Tape to make a Flap Valve
  • Take 3-cm tape stick 1-cm of sticky tape on itself to make a valve

Bottom View

Step 2

  • Piston should be loose fit in Cylinder
  • Take a Delivery Port
  • Tight Fit Suction Valve

Step 3

  • Pump assenbly
  • Rubber disc

Step 4 – Complete:

  • Place pump in water and move the cycle spoke up-down. Water will gush out.

4. Jumbo Pump


  • Tennis ball case / any cylindrical can with lid
  • Rod
  • Plastic circular disc
  • Thick straw piece
  • Scissors
  • Cello tape
can pump

Step 1

  • To make cello-tape valve, take 4cm cello-tape piece, fold 1.5cm sticky part on itself.
  • Stick glued part to the can lid.
can pump

Step 2

  • Attach rod to the disc to make piston handle.
  • Make one/two cello-tape valves on the plastic piston.
  • Diameter of this plastic piston should be such that it loosely fits in the cylinder.
can pump

Another way to make piston

  • Slipper chappal rubber disc
can pump

Step 3

  • Piston assembly.
can pump
can pump

Step 4

  • Piston assembly.
  • Hole big enough to fit piston rod.
  • Water outlet.
  • Fit the piston in the can and close the lid.

Step 5 – Complete:

  • To draw water move piston up and down.
  • While water squirts out, watch valves in action!

5. Inertia Pump


  • Big Bucket full of Water
  • Plastic pipe 1 ft long, 1-inch diameter

Step 1

  • Hold the pipe with left hand and move it up and down vigorously in a bucket of water.
  • Keep right palm on top of pipe and open and close it with each up-down motion like a hinge.

Step 2 – Complete:

  • Some water will squirt out..
  • The up-down motion of left hand does the pumping while right palm acts like a valve.