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Third annual Fluid Power Action Challenge kicks off with workshop

Zachary Fagre (left) and Mason Hoff (right), eighth-graders from Ashby Public Schools, take part in the hands-on portion of the Fluid Power Challenge workshop day on Friday, Jan. 5. Students will come together again on Wednesday, Feb. 14, to compete. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press)1 / 2
Chokio-Alberta eighth-graders Flynn McNally (left) and Caryn Marty (right) work to construct a prototype during the Fluid Power Action Challenge workshop day at Alexandria Technical and Community College on Friday, Jan. 5. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press)2 / 2

Eighty eighth-grade students from nine schools came together on Friday, Jan. 5, for a workshop in order to prepare for the third annual Fluid Power Action Challenge, sponsored by Alexandria-based manufacturer FORCE America, which will take place at the Alexandria Technical and Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

During the workshop, students learned about fluid power, which is the use of fluids under pressure to generate, control and transmit power. Students gained knowledge through a presentation and a hands-on demonstration. At the end of the day, they were provided kits to bring back to their schools to design and test a prototype of a machine.

On Challenge Day, students will use their best design and rebuild their prototype, then compete against other schools. The goal of the machines is to grab a small, weighted cylinder and place it on a choice of three levels after rotating it, with the top level being smaller and worth the most points.

Participating schools include Alexandria, Ashby, Brandon-Evansville, Campbell-Tintah, Chokio-Alberta, Fergus Falls, Melrose, Minnewaska, Osakis and Swanville.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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