Three new fluid power classroom exercise kits including a lifter, rotational arm and clamp are now available from the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) Education and Technology Foundation. The kits were designed as an introduction to the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge, a skills competition that challenges 8th graders to solve an engineering problem using hydraulics and pneumatics. The fun-to-assemble kits make it easy for teachers to explain the concepts of fluid power in the classroom. The lifter shows linear and rotary motion; the rotational arm demonstrates rotation; and the clamp shows linear movement.
Building the kits is a great extra activity for the fluid power chapters in two Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculums, Principles of Engineering and Gateway to Technology. Students work in pairs-all they need is a pair of scissors and some wood glue. It's an excellent way to experiment with hydraulics and pneumatics before competing as a team in the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge.
By buying kits and donating them to a local middle or high school, fluid power companies can use the exercises to connect with local teachers and students. They're inexpensive ($10.00 and under), and can open the door to mentoring opportunities. They can also be purchased individually and given as gifts.