Pneumatics is cool!

Around 40 District 196 high school students (grades 9 through 12) stopped by John Henry Foster’s (JHF’s) booth during the STEM Career Fair held at Eagan High School on Tuesday, February 25. The purpose of the STEM Career Fair is to get students excited about careers in engineering, computers, healthcare, science, statistics, actuaries, research, and more. JHF wanted to help!

Jon Meis and Matt Mensen, both Fluid Power Specialists from JHF, set up a booth and stamped passports and shared their job responsibilities with several students.

Matt and John

Matt Mensen and Jon Meis manning the JHF booth during the STEM Fair

The highlight of JHF’s booth was a money-grabbing actuator display. The display was designed and built with an IAI America electric actuator and enclosed in 80/20 aluminum framing. Mensen placed a dollar bill in the display and asked the students to try to outsmart the actuator. If they grabbed the bill, it was theirs.


This student tries to snag a dollar bill from the electric actuator display

“I really enjoyed watching the kids study the display and ask how it worked. I loved how interested they were in figuring it out,” said Meis.

For those curious minds looking to find out how it works, a light curtain sends a signal to a PLC and the cylinder then retracts taking the dollar bill with it.  If you’re quick enough, you can grab the dollar.

Oh, and Mensen went through $12.00… money well spent.

The JHF crew was simply happy to help our future workforce get excited about pneumatics and get them thinking about the possibilities.


Since 1938, John Henry Foster has been serving clients as a compressed air systems and fluid power distributor in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and northern Iowa. We are known for providing mobile service, maintenance, air system audits and design of electro-pneumatic and compressed air flow controls. Educational training and air system seminars are also offered.

For updates and other information about John Henry Foster, visit our website, Like us on Facebook or follow JohnHenryFoster on Twitter.

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