Power Fluid Challenge
This year, North Shore Middle School is offering a new elective course, Fluid Power. This class is based on the National Fluid Power Associations, Fluid Power Challenge. Students are challenged to design and build a model crane using specific materials and powered by hydraulic cylinders. Their cranes must be able to rotate, lift, extend and grasp. During competition, each member of the four person team operates one of the four dimensions of movement. The team must work together to move a weighted object from one side of the competition platform to the other.
The Fluid Power Challenge requires very high levels of thinking and teamwork. Teams that succeed are able to visualize their designs, identify problems, use their imaginations to design creative solutions, remain flexible in their thinking, use time efficiently and collaborate well with their teammates. On the final field trip day, teams must be prepared to build their machines from the raw materials. Teams must not only know the design of their machine, but must also know how they are going to build their machine. This requires a high level of planning that really challenges students’ thinking.