Through the Fluid Power Challenge, NFPA and MSOE hope to encourage students to select more mathematics and science courses in their high school curricula and to keep their options open for technology-based post-secondary studies.

The Fluid Power Challenge consists of a Workshop Day and a Challenge Day held in April and May, respectively.

Workshop Day 
During the Workshop Day, the teams learn about fluid power by building a pneumatic lifter and develop the skills they will need for the competition. At the end of the Workshop Day, they take their kits, including tools and supplies, back to school. Over the next few weeks, the teams work on the Challenge scenario and design, develop a portfolio, and build and test a prototype for their fluid power mechanisms.

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. and the day ends by 12:30 p.m. 

Challenge Day
The teams come together again on Challenge Day. They use the same tools and an identical kit of supplies to recreate their unique mechanisms, which they use in the competition to pick up weighted objects, and place them on a platform. Teams are graded in a number of areas, including total points, portfolio ideas, design and teamwork.

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. and the day ends by 1:00 p.m. 


MSOE Kern Center (1245 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI)

Workshop Date

April 9th, 2024

Challenge Date

May 7th, 2024


Preregistration is open until January 24th  here. Official registration will open in February 2024.

Join our mailing list (see sidebar) or e-mail stem@msoe.edu to receive updates on the fluid power challenge.

NFPA provides $500 grants  to organizations that are participating in the fluid power challenge. It covers costs including transportation to and from MSOE, supplies, and other items you may need for your team(s). Learn more here.

What You'll Need

  • A team, or multiple teams, of four students
  • A desire to learn about hydraulics and pneumatics