Batavia students design ‘Future City’

January 24th, 2008    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

The Batavia Middle School’s eighth grade language arts students received an honorable mention at this year’s National Engineer’s Week Future City Competition, Ohio Region.

The gifted program eighth grade students who competed in the annual competition, which was held in Columbus Jan. 19, joined the more than 30,000 students in 1,100 middle schools in 38 nationwide regions that participated.

The student contingent representing Batavia Middle School was only one of the 32 Ohio middle school student teams that conceptualized, designed, engineered, and constructed a utopian city of the future.

Under the guidance of Batavia Middle School language arts teacher Mary Bradburn and Proctor and Gamble technical mentor/advisor Laura Michalske, the Batavia Middle School team was made up of Blake Banfield, Tyler Carver, Ian Malott, Cierra Isner, Hannah Beerman, Lauren Williamson, Sam Walker, Emily Hendrix, Taylor Swartz, Eva Gipson, Jewelia Marsh, Carrie Baird, and Sophie Enriquez. The three students who presented the project to the panel of five judges in Columbus last weekend were Blake Banfield, Cierra Isner, and Sophie Enriquez.

Giving us a glimpse of the futuristic utopian city named Aquamare that took honorable mention in the 2008 Future City Competition are, from left, P&G technical advisor/mentor Laura Michalske, Blake Benfield, Tyler Carver, Ian Malott, Cierra Isner, Sophie Enriquez, Hannah Beerman, Lauren Williamson, Sam Walker, Emily Hendrix, Taylor Swartz, Eva Gipson, Jewelia Marsh, Carrie Baird, and language arts teacher Mary Bradburn.
"We named our city Aquamare," said Sophie Enriquez. "This year's theme was nanotechnology so we incorporated that into the whole design of our city. Aquamare represents a three-tiered, submerged, fully-functional and self-sustaining underwater kingdom located in Florida 200 years in the future, capable of housing half a million residents."

In the competition, which requires student teams to use SimCity software, the Batavia student team all won achievement medals and received an honorable mention for the best usage of water engineering.

"We were very excited about that," said student Ian Malott. "After all of our research and design, we spent about 30 hours building Aquamare, so our hard work paid off. We learned much about nanotechnology and how it can be used in countless ways."

According to student engineering mentor and project volunteer Laura Michalske (who is a P&G engineer), the students were responsible for building the 3-D model of a city that they had created out of recyclable materials. They were then required to write an essay explaining the city's creation and development process, and to most importantly, extrapolate why people would want to live there.

"This project opened up a lot of eyes in regards to engineering," Michalske said. "Especially about engineering career opportunities, of which there are many in this country. The students considered many factors in their future city, such as the environment, public education, recreation, architecture, energy sources, emergency issues, health care, employment - all of the things that need to be considered in sustaining and operating a fully functional city."

To determine the winners, professional engineers judged each team on a written essay, the oral presentation, computer designs and maps, and the model itself.

Language Arts teacher Mary Bradburn said that she hopes the students learned that there are many different engineering career opportunities available to those students with an interest in engineering.

"Through this project, I hope the students were able to get a better grasp of their future and the many different aspects of engineering," she said.

Eighth grader Ian Malott, who has an interest in engineering, said that the conference was exhilarating and that he and his classmates learned a lot.

"I never realized all of the components involved in engineering," he said. "It amazes me how many things can be designed and then used as a result of nanotechnology in regards to engineering. This was a very cool project that I was happy to be involved with. We all learned so much."
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