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Parker Partners with JCB Academy to Inspire a New Generation of Engineers

Imagine a classroom where you could strike a snooker cue, crack walnuts, push pistons… and learn about the power of mechanics.

Students at The JCB Academy in Staffordshire, UK can now do all of those things and more, thanks to a Parker-sponsored interactive learning area. The new workshop will help the engineers of tomorrow gain much-needed experience.

The concept was created when Parker donated a hydraulic training rig to support The JCB Academy - a specialist school for students aged 14-19 years who are interested in business and engineering. The idea was to provide hands-on training as part of the academy's fluid power curriculum.

As work progressed, there was clear potential for an even bigger and better project. This realization led to a meeting with the academy's principal and board of governors, and together the partners sketched ideas for a whole new learning space. There was also substantial input from students and teachers.

The learning area makes the best possible use of the space available. Students can see and test how hydraulic, electrical and fluid power works. There are interactive surfaces that light up, and group challenges and questions to complete.

The new space features a snooker cue with cylinders to show the flexibility of fluid power, a piston push test that shows Pascal's hydraulic jack principle, a hydraulic nutcracker that demonstrates how force is applied, and an interactive bench that shows how fluid power, mechanical power and electrical power relate to each other.

The new training area is sure to spark student interest – and hopefully sow the seeds for many successful engineering careers in the years ahead.