On March 26th the NFPA, Macomb Community College, Master Pneumatic and many other sponsors hosted 163 middle school students at the first annual Michigan Fluid Power Challenge. The Challenge began 6 weeks ago with a Workshop Day where teams learned some basics of fluid power by constructing from balsa wood, cardboard and syringes a pneumatic lifter mechanism. Click here to see the gallery!
During the next six weeks they worked in the classroom to build two more mechanisms, a rotator and a clamp, then designed their own fluid power device to prototype. Teams came together again on Challenge Day to reconstruct their prototype and compete in a timed event to pick up a weighted object placing it into a destination area. The teams were scored in a number of areas including portfolios with drawings, design, teamwork and total points.
This first event was an enormous success. Teachers commented on the appropriateness of the Fluid Power Challenge to their STEM requirements for the classroom. They asked to “Sign us up for next year”! The volunteers and judges were equally impressed also asking to be included next year.
For further information or to hold your own event visit NFPA Fluid Power Challenge at:http://www.nfpafoundation.org/fpchallenge/index.aspx