Inaugural Fluor Engineering Challenge Inspires Future Engineers

Thursday, April 9, 2015 2:37 pm EDT

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Every year, Fluor volunteers across the globe share with students our enthusiasm for math and science, how it applies to everyday life and details on career opportunities in engineering. This year, Fluor established the Fluor Engineering Challenge, which adapts past employee-designed competitions into engaging, student-friendly activities for local classrooms.

The inaugural 2015 Fluor Engineering Challenge was based on the “Moving on the Moon” challenge created by Fluor’s Houston office, and featured The Balloon-Powered Car Challenge.  Fluor partnered with Science Buddies to promote this exciting STEM learning opportunity. Students at all age levels were challenged to create a balloon-powered car, using a limited list of allowable materials. Students then loaded the cars up with pennies to see if the car could carry the weight of the pennies. Scores were based on how few materials were used, as well as how many pennies were carried. Organizations that participated were eligible to receive a grant from Fluor to support future engineering efforts. Read on to see some of the winning designs from the challenge!

Fluor engineering challenge Houston

Fluor's Community & Public Affairs Senior Manager Barbara Jones recognizes the winners at David Crockett Middle School in Richmond, Texas.

At David Crockett Middle School in Richmond Texas, 7th grade students had a little more than a week to design, prototype, test and modify their their balloon-powered car design. Working late evenings and early mornings, their design held 187 pennies to the “wheels” of their balloon car and scored the highest scores for all school districts serving the greater Houston area.

Fluor Engineering Challenge Irvine

Fluor employee Mark Thies visits with students as they review their balloon-powered car design.

The winning team for Orange County, California consisted of seven students who regularly meet after school with a mentor who leads them in hands-on STEM projects. The Science Buddies mentor brought the Fluor Engineering Challenge to the team and their design scored 19,240 points, the highest score of all 350 teams who participated in this year’s Fluor Challenge.  The students directed their award to Beckman High School, where several of the students attend.  

Fluor Engineering Challenge Greenville

Students from Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina present their winning design.

In the Greenville, South Carolina area, the winning team came from Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School, a newly constructed middle school focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

Fluor Engineering Challenge Canada

Students from R.H. King Academy won the Fluor Engineering Challenge in Canada. The award will support the STEM Club at the school.

Students from R.H. King Academy in the Scarborough district of Toronto won the Fluor Engineering Challenge in Canada. The winning team, the STEM Kings, was a team of four 15 to 17 year olds. 

Fluor Engineering Challenge Global Drawing

Students from Coppell Middle School East in Coppell, Texas developed this design, which also received the global drawing grant from Fluor. 

As part of the Fluor Engineering Challenge, participants were also eligible to receive a grant for participating as part of a global drawing. Coppell Independent School District's Science Curriculum Director shared the challenge with the district's science teachers, and the school district had more participants than any other school district. Of the 350 teams that participated in this year’s inaugural Fluor Engineering Challenge, a submission by students at Coppell Middle School East was selected to receive the award from Fluor. The students are celebrating their outstanding accomplishment and are already preparing to participate in next year's Fluor Engineering Challenge.


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