Students work with their self-designed fluid power mechanism during the recent Fluid Power Challenge sponsored by Daman Products Co. For more pictures, visit www.facebook.com/HydraulicsPneumatics.

Since 2008, middle school students nationwide have been learning about hydraulics and pneumatics through the Fluid Power Challenge, a competition designed by the NFPA’s Education and Technology Foundation. Students compete as teams to design and build a fluid power mechanism. The goal is to encourage students to select more engineering courses in high school and keep their options open for technology based post-secondary studies.

Seven events have been held this year, most recently sponsored by Milwaukee School of Engineering; Daman Products Co., Mishawaka, Ind.; and Deltrol Fluid Products, Bellwood, Ill. The next event is slated for May 8 in Oakdale, Pa., and is sponsored by Wojanis Supply Co. Inc., Pittsburgh.

The most recent event, at The University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., was sponsored by Daman, NFPA and the South Bend Community School Corporation Career and Technical Education, for the second year in a row. About 50 intermediate students from South Bend Schools squared off in the competition. A total of 13 teams participated this year. Fifteen events have been held since 2008, with almost 1500 students having participated.