The Fluid Power Action Challenge was developed for middle school students to increase awareness of fluid power technology and to promote critical thinking, teamwork and problem-solving skills. This fun and engaging event allows students to learn the engineering design process and see their fluid power machines come to life when they meet to compete against their peers. The Action Challenge provides a bridge from the classroom to the community by teaching students about the technology and its applications, which creates needed visibility in the minds of tomorrow’s workforce so they can consider fluid power as a career path.
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.
In an effort to increase the number of middle schools the Fluid Power Action Challenge can be offered to, the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation supported a pilot program that involved a fluid power competition at the Florida Technology Student Association (FL. TSA) State Conference. The pilot was successful, and the FL. TSA Board approved the Action Challenge as an annual competitive event offering.
This year’s event took place on February 29 as a part of the larger FL. TSA State Conference. Twelve schools and 48 students participated, including a team of four 6th graders. They had a successful, high performing device. Here’s what they told one of the advisors about their experience:
Would you encourage other kids to do this?
“It’s a really fun way to work as a team… It’s a way to improve your social skills, and another way is by building it and be able to like move something with water which is really cool.”
If you had to pick one thing, the biggest thing that you learned, what would it be?
“Probably communication and teamwork because honestly, if we didn’t communicate as much as we did, we would be a mess.”
How important is practice?
“If we didn’t practice, then I don’t think that we’d be as successful as we just were.”
Did you have fun?
“It was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. It really wasn’t stressful at all because I knew that I practiced and everything so during this experience when we had three hours, I had a lot of fun.”
Are you going to come back next year?
They all said yes, and one student said “it was actually my favorite event in TSA.”
To learn more about the Fluid Power Action Challenge or the Florida TSA pilot program, contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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