More than 70 eighth-graders from Wisconsin and northern
Illinois were given the task of designing and building fluid power
pick-and-place mechanisms during the National Fluid Power Assn.'s Fluid Power
Challenge held at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in December.
The students built mechanisms for picking up an object from
one platform, rotating it and placing it on a second platform, with Team A from
School in Racine,
Wisconsin emerging as overall
The teams were evaluated on the number of pick-and-place
cycles their machine completed, as well as on their design, portfolio and the
way they worked together.
Students, who were asked to fill out "feedback forms," wrote
that they thought the challenge was "exciting," "very fun," "educational" and "opened
doors" for students to learn more, according to a NFPA press release.
Other participating Wisconsin schools include Fritsche
Middle School, Hartford University School, Hmong American Peace Academy and Vieau Middle School,
all in Milwaukee; Luxemburg-Casco Middle School in Luxemburg; and New Berlin Eisenhower Middle School in New
Berlin. Participating schools from Illinois
were Heineman Middle
School in Algonquin and Marlowe
Middle School in Lake
in the Hills.
Two teams from Fritsche
Middle School each moved
11 canisters in the two-minute challenge. Team B from Starbuck
Middle School won the Portfolio
Challenge, Hmong American
was named Design Champion and Heineman
Middle School was award
The NFPA Fluid Power Challenge is intended to provide middle
school students with information about fluid power technology and hands-on
experience building a fluid power mechanism with real-world applicability, as
well as opening their eyes and those of their teachers to the world of
engineering and fluid power careers, according to the NFPA press release.
For more information on the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge, go