A team of four Wheatland Center School students made a successful navigation of the Fluid Power Challenge at Milwaukee School of Engineering.

The students awarded first place in the portfolio portion of the competition were eighth-graders Grace Curran, Ryan Denko, Rebecca Rainey and Ole Hanson. The team was among 40 competitors in the contest.

Seven other Wheatland teams also participated in the contest.

The Fluid Power Challenge introduced students to engineering and fluid power during the workshop held on the MSOE campus.

The introduction hopes to encourage students to pursue studies in science and mathematics in high school.

Students started their projects at Wheatland, and returned to campus to apply their knowledge and compete against other teams in the timed contest.

Wheatland teachers offering support, including planning and preparation, were Kandi Horton, Amy Hanson and Megan Zirbel.

“The Fluid Power Challenge engaged students in a month long designing and engineering project in Hydraulic and Pneumatic power. Students constructed a machine that would grab, lift, and rotate an object using fluid power,” Horton states in the release.

“Along with the physical machine, students were to keep detailed notes, drawings, and iterations of their prototypes, along with conclusions about their designs in a portfolio that was evaluated by a panel of judges. This truly was an all encompassing STEAM project integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math”

According to District Administrator Marty McGinley, the students’ work ethic and attention to detail was impressive.

“I was able to see the rich learning that went into the preparation for this competition. The design work that took place to prototype these machines and document their process was incredibly impressive. There were some tense moments as they put the final touches on their machines and stood on deck waiting to execute the task,” he states.

The program is sponsored by Enerpac, FORCE America, Grimstad, GS Global Resources, HUSCO International, Poclain Hydraulics, Price Engineering, Rexroth Bosch Group, Ritter Technology LLC, Sun Hydraulics, Thomas Magnete, TTP an API Heat Transfer Company, Webtec and ZF Industries.


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