On Saturday, January 13, four teams comprised of seventh and eighth graders represented HCS at the New Jersey State Future City Competition under the guidance of Middle School math teacher Chris Kunkel and Middle School science teacher Leigh-Ann Mitchell. This year’s theme was “The Age-Friendly City,” in which teams had to identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and engineer two innovative solutions that allow your future city’s senior citizens to be as active, independent, and engaged as they want to be. As a part of the competition, students had to write a research essay, simulate a city, build a model and present their work to judges who are professional engineers.
Seventh graders Grace Conlin, Emma Dezenzo and Ashleigh Phillips won 4th place overall out of about 80 teams from around the state for their city, “Grashmma.” Eighth graders Samuel Calmas, Nathan Kriegel, and Ethan Zhang won the award for “Best Use of Engineering Principles” for their city, “Aeternum.”
What is Future City?
Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include stormwater management, urban agriculture, public spaces, and green energy. The 2017-2018 theme is The Age-Friendly City. Teams will identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and engineer two innovative solutions that allow their future city’s senior citizens to be as active and independent as they want to be.
Participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the Finals in Washington, DC in February. After completing Future City, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, but also poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.