CFPA FLUID POWER CHALLENGES
The Canadian Fluid Power Challenge provides Grade 7 and 8 students with hands-on experience building a controlled mechanism with real world applicability and to open their eyes and those of their teachers to technology careers and, in particular, careers in fluid power. The Challenge is an excellent complement to STEM curriculum at these grade levels.
There are two formats for the CFPA Fluid Power Challenges: “Local” and “National”. A Local Challenge has the same format as its NFPA cousin: a number of teams attend the Workshop and Challenge days at a common location. The National Challenge format is a new and exciting development that enables a school or class of students to join a Challenge with other schools.
The National Challenge starts with a teacher guiding a class of students, broken into four-member teams, through a set of Workshop Lessons which can take place over a number of days or weeks. These reinforce the students’ knowledge of fluid power concepts, introduce them to the tools and materials they can use to build devices and give them some practice building simple fluid power devices.
In the last few Workshop Lessons each team focuses on designing, building, testing, fine-tuning and documenting the design of a device intended to solve the current year’s Challenge Scenario. Based on an evaluation of the work done for the Challenge Scenario, the teacher will select a team of four students that will proceed to the Challenge Day activities.
The CFPA began co-sponsoring Local Fluid Power Challenges in 2001 when the first Hilltop Challenge was held in west Toronto in conjunction with the Toronto District School Board. These have continued annually, with a two-year disruption, as the Toronto edition of the Canadian Fluid Power Challenge.
Local FP Challenges typically involve teams of Grade 7 and/or 8 students, each team with four students. They take place over two days, the Workshop Day and the Challenge Day, usually separated by three or four weeks. Both events take place at the same host site which can be a school, college or sponsoring company.