Young engineers imagine the future

February 26th, 2009    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

Batavia Middle School students are planning for the future and had an opportunity to showcase their ideas during The National Engineers Week Future City Competition at COSI, in Columbus, on Jan. 17.

The eighth grade students in Mary Bradburn’s language arts class placed third in the state competition and received three additional special awards.

“The middle school students who participated created cities of the future, first on computer and then in large tabletop models,” said Bradburn. “They created their city by using the SimCity video game software. They researched and wrote a city abstract and an essay on using engineering concepts to solve an important social need. This year’s essay asked students to create a self-sufficient water system within the home which conserves, recycles and reuses all existing water sources.”

Batavia Middle School eighth grade students participated in the Future City Competition in Columbus Jan. 17. Their project placed third in the statewide event. They are, from left, Bryan Casbar, Jacob Parks, Hailey Meyer, Jamie Simmons, Sarah Clark (presenter), Tyler Luginbuhl, Alex White (presenter), Brad Beerman, Ben McDonough (presenter), Caitlin Knudsen, Meredith Barone, Matt Canter and Jordan Skinner.
The city called "Mons Montis" was created on a mountainside and featured a unique water recycling system. All of the components of the city were created by using recycled materials found around the home.

"In the beginning stages, we had a message board and all the students in the class were able to give their input about what the city should have," said Sarah Clark, one of the presenters. "The whole class helped put the city together. Everywhere I looked, I kept finding things that could be used to build the city."

"It took us months to plan it," said McDonough, a presenter. "We put it together in three weeks, with one week solid work."

The third place futuristic city was also recognized as the most environmentally friendly city, the best use of recreation and transportation and the People's Choice Award.

"The three of us did the most research for the project and we were voted by the class to present it at COSI," said Alex White, one of the presenters. "We received the People's Choice Award from votes by the other presenters and teachers at the competition."

The scale for the city was based on one half inch representing six feet and according to the students, the engineering judges told them that they had the best scale model they had ever seen.

The competition offers students a fun way to learn about engineering and cities of the future. Through the program students work as a team, apply their knowledge to real world situations and see how engineers turn their ideas into reality. The students who participated got an opportunity to use logical thinking skills, problem solving skills, research and presentation skills and technological skills. They also gained an awareness of community and business issues.

In addition to the guidance of their teacher, Bradburn, the students worked on the project with Laura Michalske, a volunteer engineer mentor from Proctor and Gamble.

The Future City Competition has been operating under the National Engineers Week Future City Competition charter since 1997.
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