Students from 21 West Toronto middle schools were asked to design and build fluid power devices, actuated by water-filled syringes to pick up a wooden cylinder and place it on one of two target zones. They were evaluated on a set of criteria, including the number of cycles completed and the quality of their design portfolios.
There were two winners at this year's Challenge:
As part of this year's Challenge, on the morning of the competition day, the teachers from the attending schools were taken on a field trip to visit ABC Product Development in Brampton. There they saw hydraulics and pneumatics at work in the injection molding machines that make automobile parts, such as bumpers and running boards.
The Challenge, which is a partnership of the Canadian Fluid Power Association and the Toronto District School Board, is intended to provide Grade 8 students with hands-on experience building a mechanism with real world applicability, and to open both their eyes and those of their teachers, to the world of technology careers and, in particular, careers in fluid power. The Challenge consists of two days (workshop and competition) separated by three weeks during which the students refine their designs and build prototypes.
At a minimum, the organizers hope the Challenge will encourage students to select more mathematics and science courses in their high school curricula to keep their options open for technology-based post-secondary studies. The teams are gender-balanced with two girls and two boys on each.
Representatives from a number of CFPA member companies who sponsered schools attended the competition day. These included Frank Pirri, Chair fo the CFPA's Education Committee, who assisted with handing out pizza at lunch.
CFPA member companies who sponsored schools:
- ASCO Numatics
- Bosch Rexroth
- Higginson Equipment
- Parker Hannifin
- Princess Auto
- Hatch Associates (Karen D'Andrea)
- National Fluid Power Association (Eric Lanke)