The annual NFPA Fluid Power Action Challenge at MSOE hosted 26 teams of middle school students from six area schools. During the challenge, students worked hard to design and build fluid power mechanisms that pick an object from one platform, rotate and place it on another. The competition is designed to get younger students excited about fluid power and develop their STEM skills in a fun way.  

There were four students on each team. In addition to designing and building their devices, they were judged on the number of pick-and-place cycles their machine completed, their design approach, teamwork and portfolio.  

Wheatland Center School (Burlington, Wisconsin) was named the 2019 Overall Winner.
Golda Meir School (Milwaukee) received the 2019 Portfolio Award and the 2019 Design Award.
Elkhorn Area Middle School (Elkhorn, Wisconsin) won the 2019 Teamwork Award.
Maple Dale School (Fox Point, Wisconsin) won the 2019 Team Challenge.  

The NFPA Fluid Power Action 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 Bosch Rexroth, CEJN Industrial Group, Charter Dura-bar, Force America, GS Global Resources, HUSCO International, JM Grimstad, MSOE, Poclain Hydraulics, Precision Plus, Thomas Magnete and WEB-Tec.  

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.