Member volunteer hours and donations help keep NFPA’s various workforce development programs growing and effective. One program that helps schools teach fluid power at the middle and high school levels is the Fluid Power Action Challenge Classroom Activities Grant Application. Middle and high schools are invited to apply to offset the costs related to the educational aspects of the Fluid Power Action Challenge program—either for the fluid power kits for classroom use or for participation in the Fluid Power Action Challenge event. Teachers use the grant funds and sometimes the fluid power curriculum available on the NFPA website to provide hands-on activities for their students. Each experience is different from the last as teachers get creative with the possibilities.
One Ohio teacher used her award to organize an inter-school Fluid Power Action Challenge across five class periods and 144 students and created a movie trailer-themed video to document the experience, check out Toxic Barrels of Destruction. Here’s what she had to say about the Action Challenge:
“I think the most relevant outcome is student confidence in problem-based learning. All of the students felt very successful because all of the arms were functional. They took great pride in their accomplishment, and they were all learning to work as a team while building on individual strengths. I would LOVE to do this project again!” Teacher – Valley View Middle School, OH.
Here’s some feedback from two other schools who received grant funds to conduct classrooms activities:
“As a group, we viewed and discussed the ‘Your Career in Fluid Power and Discovering Fluid Power’ videos. After an individual research project, students worked in groups of two to build hydraulic lifts. One of my state standards is ‘explore the key components of technological systems.’ A specific learning expectation is ‘identify and explore the basic principles involved in fluid power.’ Using the kits along with the videos and research, the students gained a much better grasp of what fluid power is and how it works.” Teacher – Greeneville Middle School, TN.
“I liked being able to build something and not just read about it.” Student – Greeneville Middle School, TN.
“Thanks again for the grant funding—it made some GREAT learning and projects possible! Over 200 of our school’s students will learn about fluid power in class this year.” Teacher – Parkview Middle School, WI.
It sounds simple, but we’re constantly told that students cannot choose careers they do not know exist. That’s why it’s so important to introduce students to the fluid power industry and the rewarding careers that are available within it as early as possible. It is with your support that at these three middle schools alone, over 400 students have had the opportunity for a hands-on experience in hydraulics and pneumatics and learn outside of their textbooks. To connect with schools in your community contact Stephanie Scaccianoce at firstname.lastname@example.org.