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NFPA Fluid Power Challenge

The NFPA Fluid Power Challenge is a competition that challenges eighth grade students to solve an engineering problem using fluid power.

The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) Fluid Power Challenge is a competition that encourages middle school students to solve an engineering problem using fluid power. The competition is designed to educate and allow the kids to demonstrate their skills using hands on experience.

The competition has two phases, Workshop Day and Challenge Day. Workshop Day serves as an introduction to fluid power and provides the students with hands on experience building lifters. After Workshop Day the students go back to school in their teams of 4 to design and build a fluid power mechanism that they will use compete in a timed competition. Although all of the students' supplies are the same, each individual team must come up with their own unique device to solve the problem using their creativity and fluid power knowledge. On Challenge Day, each team submits their design and then they must build their machine and prepare for the timed competition. There are prizes awarded for the best portfolio, teamwork, design and overall winner.

The NFPA Fluid Power Challenge:

  • Actively engages students in learning about fluid power.
  • Gives support and resources to teachers for science and technology curriculum.
  • Creates a learning environment where math and science are fun.
  • Encourages students to acquire a diversity of teamwork, engineering and problem-solving skills.
  • Introduces eighth graders to careers in the fluid power industry.Helps build a strong workforce for tomorrow.

Locally, Wojanis Supply Company has been hosting this event for students in southwestern Pennsylvania since 2011.  Their goal is to create a healthy environment to introduce and educate young students about fluid power. The continued success and growth of the competition requires additional support from volunteers, sponsors and educators. To learn more about this program or how to get involved, contact Chris Simcic at ChrisS@wojanis.com  or check out the program's website at www.wojanis.com/FluidPowerChallenge.

The program has also been replicated in Fayette County thanks to support from Williams. To read more, click here.