Location

Purdue Polytechnic Institute, West Lafayette, IN and Columbus, IN

Event Website

http://www.nfpafoundation.org/fpchallenge/index.aspx

Description

The 4-H NFPA Fluid Power Challenge partnered Purdue Polytechnic Institute and Indiana 4-H with the National Fluid Power Association and Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power to provide teams of Indiana youth in 6-8th grades with opportunity to learn about hydraulics, engineering design, and other STEM skills. This created an opportunity to give youth a learning experience with STEM through hands-on, experiential learning activities. Youth experienced a one day workshop in which they worked as teams to learn concepts of fluid power through hands-on learning. Teams then went back to their communities and created and designed a fluid power manipulator for the challenge day. Thirty youth participated in the challenge the first year, with only 25% of youth understanding what Fluid Power was prior to participating. As part of challenge day and to show knowledge gain, youth created a portfolio of their design that they presented to the judges prior to the actual competition. The partnership with 4-H also gave a unique non-formal education setting, with an opportunity to continue the focus on STEM skills since all partnering organizations have this as a priority. Of the youth who completed the workshop and challenge 96% reported that they liked to see how things are made or invented. 86% liked science, while 75% would like to have a job related to science. 96% also said they felt that they could explain why things happen in an experiment. Growth of the program has increased 3 times for the second year.

Comments

The Challenge experience consisted of a workshop day in which teams from across Indiana came to Purdue’s campus for a day long workshop to introduce concepts of fluid power, engineering design, and learn about the challenge competition. The students worked during workshop day on creating a pre-designed lifting device, and were accompanied by graduate and undergraduate students from Agriculture and Biological Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute to learn the basic skills they would use to create their challenge robots. Teams then returned home to work on the design of a robotic manipulator, and were asked to document the creation of their prototype with a design portfolio.

Five weeks after the workshop day, the teams assembled back at Purdue University for the 1st 4-H NFPA Fluid Power Challenge Competition. Teams were judged by industry professionals from Caterpillar, Wabash National, and professors from Purdue University and Universidad Tecnológica de Queretaro, Mexico. The teams were judged and awarded points on various categories such as: portfolio, teamwork, design, challenge completion, and overall winner. Each team designed a fluid power robot from a standard kit of same resources that were provided to each group on the workshop day. The robot had to pick up an object and move a certain distance to a stair-stepped landing area in which each step was worth a different amount of points. The teams used syringes with either air or water to actuate the mechanisms moving the robot, and were only allowed to use the syringes for powering the robot. This opportunity for the teams of students gave them each a chance to create a design, problem solve, work as a team, and learn about the engineering design process. Two teams were later selected to demonstrate their designs and communicate their experience at the Indiana Legislature Rural Caucus held at the Indiana State Fair. This was an opportunity to not only promote the Fluid Power Challenge, but connect 4-H, STEM education, and fluid power with youth voice for policy makers.

Article FINAL.docx (14 kB)
Fluid Power Challenge Article

2016 fluid power flyer.pdf (374 kB)
Fluid Power Challenge Flyer

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4-H NFPA Fluid Power Challenge

Purdue Polytechnic Institute, West Lafayette, IN and Columbus, IN

The 4-H NFPA Fluid Power Challenge partnered Purdue Polytechnic Institute and Indiana 4-H with the National Fluid Power Association and Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power to provide teams of Indiana youth in 6-8th grades with opportunity to learn about hydraulics, engineering design, and other STEM skills. This created an opportunity to give youth a learning experience with STEM through hands-on, experiential learning activities. Youth experienced a one day workshop in which they worked as teams to learn concepts of fluid power through hands-on learning. Teams then went back to their communities and created and designed a fluid power manipulator for the challenge day. Thirty youth participated in the challenge the first year, with only 25% of youth understanding what Fluid Power was prior to participating. As part of challenge day and to show knowledge gain, youth created a portfolio of their design that they presented to the judges prior to the actual competition. The partnership with 4-H also gave a unique non-formal education setting, with an opportunity to continue the focus on STEM skills since all partnering organizations have this as a priority. Of the youth who completed the workshop and challenge 96% reported that they liked to see how things are made or invented. 86% liked science, while 75% would like to have a job related to science. 96% also said they felt that they could explain why things happen in an experiment. Growth of the program has increased 3 times for the second year.

http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/soeslsummit/posters/2016/5