Programs like the Fast Track to Fluid Power and 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.
Despite the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 restrictions have imposed on the educational front, NFPA members and educator partners in Illinois continue to stay engaged in NFPA’s Fast Track to Fluid Power program.
NFPA’s Illinois Fast Track hub is located at Triton College where fluid power is taught within the following 2-year programs:
- Engineering Technology Design Certificate
- Engineering Technology/Mechanical Design Degree
- Engineering Technology/Mechatronics Degree
- Engineering Technology/Mechatronics Certificate
To support the fluid power pathway in Illinois, NFPA has been working with local middle and high schools that feed into Triton College to get students interested and excited and fluid power technology and careers.
One of the feeder schools, J. Giles Elementary School held a Fluid Power Action Challenge at Ridgewood Community High School in Norridge, IL on March 17, 2022. In total, 113 middle school students making up 28 teams participated in the Workshop Day and Challenge Day competition. NFPA industry representatives volunteered as judges.
A special thank you to Dave Price and Erick Garza from HydraForce and Rogelio Gandarilla from QCC for volunteering. Another special thank you to Antigone Sharris from Triton College, Eric Lasky from Ridgewood Community High School and Joe Lentino from J. Giles Elementary School for working with the students and organizing the event.
Regarding serving as a judge for the Fluid Power Action Challenge:
“It truly was a heart-warming experience interacting with the future leaders of this industry, whom are driven by an abundant imagination and talent.” – Erick Garza, Application Engineer, HydraForce, Inc.
“I had a great experience judging the FPAC! It’s great to see so many bright and intelligent young people expressing an interest in the industry, and it was great to share experience and insight with the next generation of Fluid Power professionals.” – Dave Price, Global Marketing Manager, HydraForce, Inc.
“Being a judge for the FPAC competition was very rewarding. Many of the young participants were very talented and showed amazing design and construction creativity, teamwork, and project management skills. I saw in many… a young, raw, spark in their eyes.” –Rogelio Gandarilla, Product Engineer Manager, QCC
Days following the event, the teachers organized a Parent Showcase Night to announce the competition winners. Rogelio Gandarilla from QCC attended and spoke to students and parents about the different career pathways that students interested in fluid power can follow. Rogelio graduated from Ridgewood High School and was able to speak about his personal experience getting involved with hands-on learning opportunities and ultimately securing an internship, later turned full-time job and career, at QCC. Real life examples of individual experiences in the industry are the best way to show students how it can be done.
On April 16, 2022, Antigone Sharris of Triton College organized a mini Fluid Power Action Challenge at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, IL. In total, 50 students participated in the event gaining exposure to fluid power technology.
If you would like to get involved in NFPA’s Fast Track to Fluid Power program, please contact Amy Zignego at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 778-3376.
The 2024 Annual Conference is right around the corner, don’t miss out on the chance to be a Bronze Sponsor! Bronze Sponsors receive in-person recognition at the conference as well as being featured on many of our most popular webpages on nfpahub.com. Until January 12th, 2024 – all Bronze Sponsorships are half price! Please reach…
As part of an effort to bring more information about the regulatory and legal environment facing American manufacturers, NFPA is monitoring the newsfeed of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and will be bringing important updates like this to the attention of NFPA members. For nearly three years, many manufacturers in the U.S. have been…
A new series of quarterly forecast updates from Oxford Economics is now available on the NFPA website at Global Industry Forecasts. These reports cover the global economy, as well as regional and country developments, and some detailed global industry forecasts. The good news! Oxford has revised their forecasts for late 2023 and 2024, reducing the…