IFPS Hosts Action Challenge for High School Students

Programs like the Fluid Power Action Challenge are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation and Pascal Society donors. Support these efforts by making a donation.


High school students recently came together at Disney to compete in the Fluid Power Action Challenge sponsored by the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS). This event is different from other Action Challenge events not only because the students are older than the typical middle school participants, but because these particular students are warming up in preparation for the upcoming FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC).

Typically, Action Challenge events consists of two scheduled days and several weeks of preparation. Middle school students usually attend a Workshop Day where they learn about fluid power and the project objective while working with a fluid power build kit full of materials exactly like the kits they will receive on Challenge Day. Students then have several weeks to build and rebuild their prototypes and create a design portfolio. When the teams reassemble on Challenge Day, they are given a new kit of building materials and a few hours to build a mechanical arm using their own design portfolio. The teams then compete in a challenge to move the most objects on the challenge board using their project. Teams are judged based on teamwork, design, safety and functionality.

IFPS and Disney tweaked the program to add extra challenges for the high school students. Instead of meeting for Workshop Day, the teams participated in a webinar to learn the objectives, after which they were expected to seek out the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge website on their own to find the resources available. Teams were also competing for more than trophies. IFPS awarded cash prizes to the top three winners, totaling $2,700 on top of sponsoring the event. This is a great example of how the Fluid Power Challenge programs can be customized for any group.

Challenge day winners included:
• Overall Winner – Exploding Bacon (FRC Team 1902) – $1,000 prize
• Best Portfolio – Team Banana (FRC Team 945) – $900 prize
• Unique Design – 12 Volt Bolt (FRC Team 1557) – $800 prize

The students will now go on to participate in the FIRST® Robotics Competition, where they will be challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, and build industrial-size robots to compete against the other teams.

The NFPA Fluid Power Robotics Challenge offers one $40,000 merit-based scholarship to a high school student who competes in the FRC and uses fluid power in their robot.

Congratulations Action Challenge winners and best of luck at the FIRST Robotics Competition!

If you would like more information or have questions about these programs, please contact Justine Schauer at jschauer@nfpa.com.

To learn more about how you can host an Action Challenge or get involved, click here:

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To learn more about the Fluid Power Robotics Challenge Scholarship, click here:

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