Komatsu to host STEM competition for local schools

From staff reports

Komatsu Mining Corp. in Franklin will hold a Fluid Power Challenge for local middle school students on May 10.

Six teams of students from Oil City Middle School, Cranberry Junior High School and Grove City Christian Academy will participate in the competition.

Started by the National Fluid Power Association, the challenge is aimed at getting students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) projects.

The competition requires students to design and build a device that is operated by syringes and tubing to simulate hydraulic and pneumatic operations.

Students’ devices must lift a block of wood and swing it as far as possible around an arc during the two minute competition. They will earn additional points for the quality of their teamwork, in addition to working safely, answering interview questions and completing a portfolio that includes design details and methodology.

Komatsu provided students with a tool kit, lifting and rotating models kits and a materials kit to build their prototype machines.

During the competition, each team will rebuild its machine from scratch in a 2 hour time frame, using only tool and materials kits and its completed portfolio.

Trophies will be awarded to top category winners. The grand champion team will receive a trophy and a $250 Amazon gift card for its school.