Fluid Power Journal

Community Invited to Attend December 6th Middle School STEM Competition

The event will take place at Triton College and will feature a competition that requires middle school students to solve an engineering problem using fluid power.

Families and community members are invited to attend the Fluid Power Action Challenge competition December 6th , 2019 at 1:00 PM at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois. The competition will take place in Building T.

Years ago, Deltrol Fluid Products launched this event in Cook County with eight teams. After hosting 10 annual events, over 2,300 local middle school students have worked to design and build a fluid power mechanism in three hours before competing against each other in a timed event. The goal is to see how many objects each team’s fluid power mechanism can pick up from one platform, rotate, and place on another platform in a two-minute period.

Event sponsors, Deltrol Fluid Products, Triton College and QCC, also plan to have engineers on-site to evaluate the students’ mechanisms and present awards in five categories – Overall Champion, Design Champion, Teamwork Champion, Portfolio Champion and Team Challenge Champion.

The competing students first learned about fluid power technology at a workshop hosted by Deltrol Fluid Products and a team of engineers on October 25th. There, they learned about hydraulics, pneumatics and their real-world applications. After the workshop, the students began working independently to complete a competition design and portfolio that will also be used as part of the competition evaluation.

Starting this year, the Action Challenge is also part of a new, larger education pathway that the National Fluid Power Association debuted in Waukesha, Wisconsin called Fast Track to Fluid Power. 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.

This program recently brought fluid power training equipment to several Cook County high schools and provided teachers with training on how to teach using this equipment. Because of the program, students 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.

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.

The goal of these programs is to provide resources to teachers for science and technology curriculum, create a learning environment where math and science are fun and encourage students to practice teamwork and problem-solving skills while introducing them to careers in the fluid power industry.

Visit www.nfpa.com for more information.

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