MISHAWAKA — Jimtown Junior High School took home the overall champion trophy from Daman Products’ 2017 Fluid Power Action Challenge at Bethel College this month.
About 112 students from four schools participated in the March 3 event, which had them compete by creating hydraulic or pneumatic machines to solve engineering problems. The machines could only be made using wood, paper, glue, tubing and syringes.
Jimtown also captured the team challenge award, earning 45 points by moving a canister with their machine. Trophies were awarded to the top five teams in the categories of teamwork, portfolio, machine design, team challenge and overall champions.
Other winning teams were John J. Young Middle School, machine design award; LaSalle Academy, portfolio award; and Jackson Intermediate School, teamwork award.
The Fluid Power Action Challenge process began on Jan. 12, when 28 teams of four students from South Bend Community School Corporation, John J. Young Middle School, Jimtown Junior High School and South Bend Career Academy attended Daman’s Workshop Day. They were introduced to fluid power and were presented with this year's building challenge.
On competition day, the teams had only three hours to completely rebuild the machine using their portfolio and work instructions. Innovative thinking, organization and teamwork were essential for the STEM-based competition, according to event organizers.
The Fluid Power Action Challenge was created by the National Fluid Power Association to introduce the basics of fluid power to middle school students while giving them experience in a hands-on learning environment.
This is the seventh year for Daman, a Mishawaka hydraulic manifold manufacturer, to host the competition.
"I am a firm believer in improving education, developing leadership and encouraging innovation in our youth," said Larry Davis, CEO of Daman Products. "The Fluid Power Action Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to solve a problem using real-life applications. It’s an experience they will never forget and will often refer back to later in life."