What is the Fire Protection Engineering Design Challenge (FPEDC)?

The FPEDC is a one-of-a-kind competition open to high school students in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. It involves the design, construction and (burn) testing of a small housing model where the challenge is to provide innovative means of fire detection and suppression.

By participating in the program, students will:

1. Understand the principles of fire protection engineering
2. Gain experience in creative design and construction
3. Practice the scientific method to formulate and test hypotheses
4. Develop increased confidence in their abilities to succeed in STEM 
 

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO REGISTER

 

If you are a student: Build Your Team!

No technical expertise is required to participate in the competition - all teams will receive the necessary background on core Fire Protection Engineering skills (through lecture videos, written instruction materials and professional fire protection engineers who volunteer as mentors) needed to effectively participate in the program.  The Challenge will accommodate as many teams as are created at each participating school.  Each team should nominate a leader who will serve as liaison between the team and FPE, specifically in the registration form and at the Final Burn Day event.

For your group to be officially recognized as a participating team, you will need to complete the Student Team Registration form (only one application is required for each team) and have each member of your team sign and return the program's Consent and Release From (see 'Downloadable Resources' section below for a copy).

If you're a teacher: Serve as an In-School Mentor!

Each participating team will be assigned a professional fire protection engineer who is volunteering as a mentor. Mentors are not required to lecture as students are provided with an easy-to-follow curriculum and supplementary videos that cover all the information they need to know to effectively participate in the competition. Professional mentors, however, are expected to meet with students (either virtually or in person), at least monthly, over the course of the competition to clarify concepts, conduct lab demonstrations, and provide mentoring. Professional mentors are expected to be available via email to answer students’ inquiries that specifically pertain to their projects. 

If you are a fire protection engineer: Become a Professional Mentor!

Each participating team will be assigned a professional mentor. Professional mentors are not required to lecture as students are provided with an easy-to-follow curriculum and supplementary videos that cover all the information they need to know to effectively participate in the competition. Professional mentors, however, are expected to meet with students (either virtually or in person), at least monthly, over the course of the competition to clarify concepts, conduct lab demonstrations, and provide mentoring. Professional mentors are expected to be available via email to answer students’ inquires that specifically pertain to their projects. 

Registration for all teams is due via a completed form submission by noon on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.  In school teachers/mentors will be provided access to all needed FPE Design Challenge information by no later than Monday, November 1, 2021.

Step 1:  Review Opening Session
Step 2: Participate in Mentor-led Opening Session Group Activity
Step 3: Review FPE Design Challenge E-Book
Step 4: Watch Instructional Videos
Step 5: Design, Test, Build (and redesign, then re-test, then test again!)
Step 6: Attend Final Burn Event
 

Final Burn Day: April 2022 (Location TBD)

The Challenge culminates in a Final Burn day, which involves the (burn) testing of each participating team’s small housing structure outfitted with fire detection and suppression systems. 

Typically, the final 'burn' events are held at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Research Laboratory in Greenbelt, Maryland. The designs/model homes and suppression systems are constructed by FPE members who will also 'burn' test the models in the lab. For the 2021/2022 academic year, we do not yet know if the final burn will be virtual, or in-person - stay tuned for more information!  

  • TBD  (stay tuned for more information!)

 

Questions? Please send an email to enfp@umd.edu
 


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