NFPA Foundation Grants Bring Fluid Power To Classrooms

Jane Suminski has more patience than anyone I know. She teaches science to sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Humboldt Park School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Each trimester she teaches an elective science class on engineering and fluid power to about thirty students. This year, Jane applied for and received a grant from the NFPA Foundation to bring pneumatic lifter kits and tools to these classes. One of these classes focused on preparation for the Fluid Power Challenge event at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

When I visited Jane and her class, I witnessed a whirlwind of excitement, creativity, teamwork and cheering. And lots of kids running around.

Jane told me, “This gives kids a chance to practice teamwork, which can be sorely lacking in the classroom.” Although the team from Humboldt Park School did not win a trophy at the Fluid Power Challenge at MSOE, the students “learned how to work with constraints and create something that worked.” And that made all the difference to them. I could tell.

If you work with a school in your community that would like to bring fluid power activities to their classroom, please contact Lynn Beyer at or 414-778-3364.


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