WASHINGTON DC, February 19, 2019 – A city of the future – Toyama –engineered by students from Warwick Middle School inLititz, PA, – has won the Grand Prize at the 2019 Future City® Competition – the 27th year of this prestigious international program. The students, Grace Kegel, Lauren Matt, Xavier Flaiz, Matthew Bacon, Joseph Conrad, Carter Hain, Connor Henry, Paige Misavage, Ivan Tejeda, Liam Zee, Jonah Ahlers, Olivia Boland, Zoe Buchanan, Kyle Charles, Ben Cosmore, Marin Davis, Carolyn Eisenbach, Nate Hovan, Thomas Jeanes, Caden Lausch, Elena Smith, Aiden Troop, Rebekah Trovinger, Maggie Turner and Nate Wenger teamed with educator Mike Smith and 15 year old volunteer mentor Christian Kegel, to earn this year’s top honors. The Future City Finals, which concluded at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, is one of the showcase events taking place during Engineers Week.
“Being at a competition with some of the brightest minds in the country is truly a blessing,” said 13-year-old Grace Kegel. “My takeaway from this amazing experience is - I can do it! It’s all possible!”
“When you go through this program, you are forced to work together to figure out the best way to do things,” added Christian Kegel, who is also a Future City alum. “I’m especially fascinated by the communication between the tech and art teams. When they come together to solve problems – that’s engineering.”
Since last fall, more than 40,000 middle school students from 1,500 schools in 41 US regions, as well as teams from Canada and China, have imagined, designed and built cities for the 2018-2019 Future City® Competition. This year’s theme, Powering Our Future, challenges students to design innovative ways to power their future city that can that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.
Warwick Middle School, from the Central Pennsylvania region, takes home the Grand Prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for its school’s STEM program (provided by Finals sponsor Bentley Systems, Inc.). Their city’s solution is based on the model the team researched, developed and presented.
Second place went to Alabama Region students from the Academy for Science and Foreign Language in Huntsville for their Future City, Emerald City. Their school receives a $5,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
The Future City Competition is a project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place?
During the Future City Competition, students work as a team to complete five deliverables. They design a virtual city using SimCity™ software. They research a city-wide issue and write an essay describing their findings and innovative solutions. Teams complete a project plan to help keep their project on track. They also build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials and create a short presentation about their city.
One of the nation’s leading engineering education programs and among the most popular, Future City has received national recognition and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In 2017 Future City received a prestigious national award as a leading engineering education program, as it was recognized by US2020 and co-founding sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services for its achievements and innovations in STEM education and its accessibility to underrepresented youth.
In 2016, the Future City Competition received the 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction, presented by Turner Construction Company and the National Building Museum.
In 2015, Future City was named the grand prize winner in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) Innovative Education Award program, receiving a $100,000 award. The UL award highlights the essential, urgent and significant value of E-STEM education.
Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including mentors and regional coordinators. For information about Future City or to volunteer, visit www.futurecity.org.
Major funding for the Future City Finals comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. Additional program support provided by EA, NCEES, UEF, and UL. UL also sponsored the City Essay this cycle.
DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.