Fast Track to Fluid Power Hub Hosts 140 Students in Action Challenge

Programs like the Fluid Power Action Challenge and Fast Track to Fluid Power 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.


After weeks of prototyping and preparation, 140 students came together at Triton College to compete against their peers at the Fluid Power Action Challenge. Event sponsors and representatives from Deltrol Fluid Products, SunSource, Triton College and QCC were onsite to evaluate each of the 35 teams on their machines and portfolios and to present awards in five categories.

This Action Challenge event is also part of a larger education pathway called Fast Track to Fluid Power, formerly known as FAMTEN. This program creates stronger connections between local technical colleges, industry partners, and teachers by engaging multiple education levels in the community, beginning with the Fluid Power Action Challenge for middle school students.

Prior to the start of the 2019-20 school year, fluid power training equipment was delivered to several Cook County high schools, and teachers from those schools attended a training on how to teach using this equipment. Because of the Fast Track to Fluid Power program, students and Action Challenge participants who want to continue to learn more about fluid power can choose to enroll in related classes in high school, such as principles of engineering, automation, and systems and controls, to earn dual credit towards a degree at Triton College.

Also through the program, and with the support of local fluid power companies, Triton College has had its fluid power curriculum validated to fit the needs of the industry. A local network of engineers mentor the students, help them learn the basics, and will eventually recruit them when they graduate. Industry representatives engaged in this program are from Bimba Manufacturing, Deltrol Fluid Products, IMI Precision Engineering, SunSource and QCC.

Triton College in River Grove, Illinois is at the center of one of two Fast Track to Fluid Power hubs. The next Action Challenge associated with this program will be hosted in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and is supported by Eaton, FORCE America, Husco, NFPA, Price Engineering and Waukesha County Technical College. Nearly 250 student participants are expected to compete on Challenge Day on March 13th, 2020.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Action Challenge or would like to get involved with a competition near you, contact Stephanie at sscaccianoce@nfpa.com.