March 28, 2019
Fort Couch takes first place at Fluid Power Challenge
A team of Fort Couch Middle School students took top honors in the recent Fluid Power Challenge – earning first overall, Best Teamwork and Best Design. The team’s design was so efficient that its point total was nearly double the second-place team.
More than 20 teams from throughout the Pittsburgh region competed in the engineering competition, which was held on March 22, 2019, at the Carpenter’s Training center in Robinson Township.
Many Fort Couch students worked on the project with the following representing Upper St. Clair’s two submissions at the competition: Alex Todd, John Scherer, Reese Copenhaver, Ty Lagonia, Phillip Markovitz, Matt Earley, Collin Eccher and Mahir Parmar. Students were coached by Mr. Jason O’Roark, Fort Couch gifted education teacher.
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. Following 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. Provided with identical supplies, each team is tasked with designing and developing a device to solve the given problem using creativity and engineering.
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.