May 16, 2018
Fort Couch takes first place at the 2018 Fluid Power Challenge
A team of Fort Couch Middle School students took top honors in the recent Fluid Power Challenge – earning first overall and best teamwork. Thirty-two teams competed in the engineering competition, which was held at the Community College of Allegheny County – North Campus in McCandless Township.
Several Fort Couch students worked on the project with the following representing Upper St. Clair’s two submissions at the competition: Phillip Markovitz, Even Sarkett, Matt Earley, Collin Eccher, Ritvik Shah, Evan Tefft, Isha Sinha and Adam Zheng. Students were coached by Jason O’Roark and Connie Gibson, Fort Couch gifted education teachers.
The National Fluid Power Association Fluid Power Challenge is a competition that encourages middle school students to solve an engineering problem using fluid power. The competition is designed to educate and allow students to demonstrate their skills using hands on experience.
The competition has two phases, Workshop Day and Challenge Day. Workshop Day serves as an introduction to fluid power and provides the students with hands on experience building lifters. After Workshop Day, students return to school in their teams of four to design and build a fluid power mechanism that they will use to compete in a timed competition. Although all of the students’ supplies are the same, each team must come up with their own unique device to solve the problem using their creativity and engineering knowledge.
On Challenge Day, each team submits its design and then must build the machine and prepare for the timed competition. Prizes are awarded for the best portfolio, teamwork, design and overall winner.
In this year’s competition the students had to devise a method for moving a block to one of the below sectors as many times as possible in two minutes in order to score points.