Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) hosted an NFPA Fluid Power Challenge event for the first time on its campus on February 24, 2016, where 68 eighth-grade students from 10 local schools competed in a competition to solve a real-life engineering problem using fluid power.
During the Workshop Day, held on January 6, 2016, teams came together to learn about fluid power, build a pneumatic lifter, and receive their challenge kits.
On Competition Day, the teams were given four hours to construct and test their prototype before presenting them in front of the judges. The goal was to use the machines to grab a small, weighted cylinder and place it on a choice of three levels after rotating it, with the top level being smaller and worth the most points. The students were judged on machine design, portfolio, teamwork, challenge, and overall.
The participating middle schools were Ashby, Brandon-Evansville, Campbell-Tintah, Fergus Falls, Frazee, Melrose, Minnewaska, Osakis, Parkers Prairie, and Perham.