Students from Lake Country School in Hartland, Wisconsin, scored well at the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge. Team C was named the 2016 Overall Winner of the event, and Team E was the 2016 Portfolio Winner. Both teams were coached by Fred Levenhagen.

The competition is designed to get middle school students excited about fluid power and on Nov. 7, 41 teams competed at MSOE. There were four students on each team, and they worked hard to design and build fluid power mechanisms that pick an object from one platform, rotate and place it on another. In addition to the number of pick-and-place cycles a school’s machine completed, a review of each team’s design approach, teamwork and portfolio was used in the final evaluation.

Team B from Pilgrim Park Middle School (Elm Grove, Wisconsin) received the 2016 Teamwork Award. Bret Fredrickson was their coach.

Team B from The REAL School (Racine, Wisconsin) was the 2016 Team Challenge Winner and Blair Kath was their coach.

Wisconsin Hills Middle School (Brookfield, Wisconsin) won the 2016 Design Award and they were coached by Mark Oelstrom.

The NFPA Fluid Power Challenge introduced students to the world of engineering and fluid power during an on-campus workshop in October where they built a pneumatic lifter. During the Challenge, they returned to campus to apply their knowledge and compete against other teams and gain more hands-on experience while building a fluid power mechanism with real world applicability.

Through the Challenges, the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) hopes to encourage students to select more mathematics and science courses in their high school curricula to keep their options open for technology-based post-secondary studies. The program is sponsored by Enerpac, FORCE America, Grimstad, GS Global Resources, HUSCO International, Poclain Hydraulics, Price Engineering, Rexroth Bosch Group, Ritter Technology LLC, Sun Hydraulics, Thomas Magnete, TTP an API Heat Transfer Company, Webtec and ZF Industries.

NFPA provides a forum for the fluid power industry’s channel partners—manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, customers and educators. Its 335+ U.S. and multinational members work cooperatively in advancing hydraulic and pneumatic technology through the association’s many programs and initiatives.