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A team from Mitchell Middle School for the fifth time snagged first place in the National Fluid Power Championships at the Milwaukee School of Engineering earlier this month.

In its e-newsletter to parents, Racine Unified highlighted the achievement of three-person team Sarah Bollendorf, Addy Herman and Greg Jenkins. The Mitchell team had to best 32 other teams in order to bring home the trophy with a nearly perfect score of 100.

During an intensive five-week AfterZones program leading up to the competition, the Mitchell team developed their designs, spending an additional 35 hours of after-school time to work on their strategy.

From left: Mitchell Middle School students Greg Jenkins, Sara Bollendorf and Addy Herman show off their 2014-2015 National Fluid Power Championship trophy.

Technology and Engineering Education teacher Keith Kohlmann credited his students’ parents, the community and the Racine area’s long history with fluid power for creating a path to success for his team.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of our wonderful parents and community. Racine has a long history of both fluid power technology and our students winning these and other competitions across the state,” he is quoted as saying. “All of these kids are being shown a pathway to career success. The skills they learn here can transfer to any endeavor they may choose in the future.”

To earn their championship, Bollendorf, Herman and Jenkins had to earn top marks in machine design, machine performance, engineering portfolio and teamwork.

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