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, and green energy. The 2016-2017 challenge was "The Power of Public Space".
Students present their solutions via 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. Winners will represent Pittsburgh at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February. After the competition is over, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, they are poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.
Last year's competition impacted this young engineer. Listen to Timothy Snyder, 6th grade Future City participant, speaking on TED Ed Club about one inspiring judge.
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The 2018 Pittsburgh Regional Competition will be held on January 20, 2018 at Carnegie Music Hall.
On January 21, 2017, 28 teams of middle school students competed at Carnegie Music Hall in our regional competition to imagine a city of the future and present a tabletop scale model to engineers who volunteer as judge. St. Bede School was the winning team; the team will represent our region at the national competition in Washington, D.C., during Engineers Week next month. The St. Bede team created Zumala, the City of Fellowship, located on the Nile River with a population of 300,000, in the year 3064. Their distinctive model included a front view of the city and a back view of its aquifers. Among the city’s features are a plastic waste dump reclaimed by planting edible mushrooms that feed on plastic; plants to filter impurities from water; and a highway that was repurposed as a boardwalk for public recreation, including a theme park. In the photo at the left, the winning team stands behind its city. Beaming with pride are, second from right in the front, teacher Betsy Killmeyer, and behind her, volunteer engineer mentor Paul Lovejoy. At the far right is David Esquibel, Workforce Initiative Manager at Shell, who spoke to the students about what inspired him to become an engineer and why it’s important for them to get a solid STEM education. Shell is among the national and local Future City sponsors.
1st place: St. Bede School
2nd place: Fort Couch Middle School
3rd place: Marion Center Jr/Sr High School
4th place: The Ellis School
5th place: West Mifflin Area Middle School
Pittsburgh Alumnus of the Year: Michelle Szucs
National Competition Finals
DiscoverE provides the airfare and hotel accommodations for the five winning team members from each region. Team members are responsible for all additional expenses such as ground transportation and meals.
The National First Place team will win a trip to the U.S. Space Camp. Other prizes include scholarships, computers and savings bonds. In addition, teams were eligible for special awards and recognition sponsored by engineering societies and other organizations.
Sponsored in part by Shell Oil Company