National Engineers Week “Future City” competition winners
A city of the future—“RA”—engineered by students from Heritage Middle School in Westerville, Ohio, won the 2008 National Engineers Week “Future City” competition
A city of the future—“RA”—engineered by students from Heritage Middle School in Westerville, Ohio, won the 2008 National Engineers Week Franklin County Engineer’s Office .
Teams from 36 middle schools nationwide, winners of regional competitions in January, participated in the Future City National Finals, Feb. 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Future City, celebrating its 16th year, asks middle school students to create cities of the future, first on computer and then in large tabletop models. Working in teams with a teacher and volunteer engineer mentor, students create their cities using the SimCity 3000 ystems to keep its infrastructure healthy. Next, the team presents and defends its city before engineer judges at the competition. Some 30,000 students from more than 1,100 schools participated in the 2007-08 regional competitions.
In the words of the Heritage Middle School team’s Future City abstract:
"Like the glorious temple Amon-Ra, honoring the Egyptian Sun God RA, the ultimate city of the sun rises out of the vast sands of majestic Egypt.nces utilizing the latest in educational intercommunication, the Nanosence Glove.
"Energy engineers employ a five-point energy system to maximize energy efficiency throughout RA.ctures, all provide renewable power options. Finally, nanoparticles produce hydrogen through photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, completing a clean energy picture.
"Solar-cell phones and holographic image converters provide citizens wireless communication options.
"A prosperous economy, progressive research centers, multi-modal forms of transportation, unparalleled recreational facilities, a first rate educational system, an environmentally sound energy strategy, as well as the latest in nanotechnological advancements make RA the ultimate paradise."
Second place went to Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland, N.Y. for its “Future City, Mohala.” Its team included students Kathryn Liotta, Hannah Liu, and Brien Miceli; teacher Deborah Escobar; and engineer mentor James Liotta.
Our Lady Help of Christians School in Abington, Pa., took third place honors for “Port Tranquility.” The team was comprised of Paul Gennaro, Kiersten Moore, and Maura Nolan; teacher Jane Ring; and engineer mentor Julie Gennaro.
Fourth place went to Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and fifth place to Queen of Angels Catholic School in Roswell, Ga. Queen of Angels also won the special award for Best Essay and Westridge Middle School in Shawnee Mission, Kan. won Best Model.
The Future City National Finals is hosted by Bentley Systems , Exton, Pa. Future City is sponsored in part by the National Engineers Week Foundation, a coalition comprising more than 75 engineering, professional, and technical societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies.
Future City National Finals teams this year represented public, parochial, private, and home schools and were comprised of 53 girls and 54 boys.
“Part of our responsibility as industry leaders lies in developing the talented and diverse workforce who will be designing the world’s infrastructure in the future,” said Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley. “We’ve joined with many others who support the National Engineers Week Future City competition because of its unique ability for inspiring students to consider career choices that might otherwise have overlooked engineering. The combination of engineer mentors, hands-on learning, and teamwork engages students and opens the door to endless possibilities for them and the engineering profession.”