Mishawaka, Ind.—Sixty-four eighth graders and their teachers from the South Bend Community School Corporation participated in a National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) Fluid Power Challenge held at the University of Notre Dame on December 3, 2010.
Sponsored by Daman Products Company, Inc., General Sheet Metal Works, L.L. Geans Construction Co. and Barnaby’s Pizza-South Bend, the competition challenged students to solve an engineering problem using fluid power.
“The NFPA has given us a wonderful opportunity to impact education in our area,” Larry Davis, President of Daman Products Company, said. “Through this competition, we witnessed the profound value that comes from learning through solving real-world challenges.”
To prepare for the competition, 16 teams of four students each designed and built a fluid power mechanism to perform a specific task. The students used hydraulics and pneumatics to power mechanisms that picked up weighted objects and placed them on a platform. On the challenge day, they competed against other teams in a timed competition to rebuild their mechanism.
Engineers from the sponsoring businesses judged the teams’ designs, teamwork, cooperation, technical skills and answers to quiz questions. Greene Intermediate Center received the Overall Champion Award. Four other teams were recognized as Design Champion, Teamwork Champion, Portfolio Champion and Team Challenge Champion.
Daman has fostered a strong commitment to harvesting the energy of leadership and innovation within education systems.
“We need more opportunities like the Fluid Power Challenge to help prepare students for the 21st century workplace,” Matt Giloth, Daman Manager, Distributor Services – Standard & Custom Products, said. “Students used problem-solving and decision-making skills, teamwork and communication in this challenge. Those same skills are essential for the workplace today.”