Fluid Power Action Challenge: FORCE America/ Alexandria Technical & Community College

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.


FORCE America in partnership with Alexandria Technical & Community College (ATCC), hosted their 7th annual Fluid Power Action Challenge in Alexandria, Minnesota. This year 52 eighth-graders from Campbell-Tintah school, Ashby, Fergus Falls, and Brandon-Evansville schools districts participated in the full-day Fluid Power Action Challenge at ATCC.

At the beginning of the competition five weeks earlier, students were given a real-life scenario that they would have to solve by building a fluid power mechanism made from plastic syringes and balsa wood. Students were given five weeks to design and complete a portfolio which included strategies and prototype models they used to craft their final mechanical device. During the five weeks, students had the opportunity to interact and engage with industry members and expert engineers who helped coach and mentor the students in crafting and developing their final device.

During Challenge Day, the eighth graders finished the mechanical device by making any last-minute adjustments and finishing touches on their devices. They were interviewed by the judges and then competed against other students to see how many points their mechanical device could score. The teams were judged on the following criteria: teamwork, portfolio, interview questions, device and design, work habits/safety, and challenge (number of points able to score with their machine).

This event aims to support teachers in their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related instruction, provide the students an opportunity for a hands-on learning experience, and recognize the importance of working together as a team to accomplish a goal.

A huge special thanks to both event’s judges, volunteers, and sponsors: Alexandria Technical & Community College, FORCE America, Motion Ai, and SMC.

We have more Workshop and Challenge Days coming up. If you would like to find a challenge near you, please check out the Fluid Power Action Challenge site for the Upcoming Challenges. There may be one near you!

If you are interested in hosting or participating in a Fluid Power Action Challenge, contact NFPA Workforce Program Manager Eric Pannell at epannell@nfpa.com or 414-778-3364.

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