TBT: Western PA youths display impressive engineering skills at Williams Fluid Power Challenge

On November 12, nearly 100 seventh and eighth grade students from Western Pennsylvania gathered for the Williams Fluid Power Challenge at the Penn State – Fayette campus. As part of the event, 24 teams from Fayette and Westmoreland county schools competed to see who could best design, build and operate a fluid-powered machine that could quickly and effectively move wooden blocks.

For the 20 Williams employees who volunteered to judge and assist with the Challenge, it was great to see the many different ways young students displayed their imagination, teamwork and engineering skills, as well as their sense of humor…and sense of fashion.

“Team Swag,” from Latrobe, Pa., adds some edge to the event with their enthusiastic attitude and glammed-out safety glasses.
“Team Swag,” from Latrobe, Pa., adds some edge to the event with their enthusiastic attitude and glammed-out safety glasses.

One of the most gratifying parts of the volunteer experience was hearing the pride the students felt when demonstrating and explaining how their project works.

Even more gratifying was seeing the sense of humor and stick-to-it-iveness students displayed when their machines didn’t necessarily work the way they had designed them.

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Keeping their options open: Patrick Creamer, a Williams mechanical engineer, talks with Connellsville students about what they want to be when they get older. Despite having superior engineering skills, one member of this team aspires to be an anesthesiologist, while another wants to be a neurosurgeon.

By all accounts, this was an awesome event. While it seemed like the students had a great time, it may be the adult volunteers who had the best time. It was truly inspiring to see so many young people in one room with such amazing talents, skills and attitudes. We look forward to the Williams Fluid Power Challenge in Allegheny County this spring, and next year’s Fayette/Westmoreland County event.

Check out some local media coverage of the event.

 

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  • https://blog.williams.com/corporate-responsibility/community/ninety-years-and-counting-fayette-chamber-of-commerce/ Ninety years and counting: Fayette Chamber of Commerce | Pipe Up

    […] many contributions to workforce development efforts in the community, with the chamber citing the Williams Fluid Power Challenge and support of the Fayette Business Education Partnership as key reasons for the […]

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