Farnsworth Middle School Wins 2024 Prestigious Middle School STEM Competition–Future City

Washington, DC, February 20, 2024 – The future city “He Hika”, engineered by the Dutchman Ducks student team from Farnsworth Middle School, NY, has won the Grand Prize at the 32nd year of the prestigious international DiscoverE 2024 Future City® Competition. The students – Anika, Darshana, and Levi – teamed with educator Kelly Werner as well as volunteer mentor Jennifer Smith, to earn this year’s top honors.

Since last fall, middle school students in 37 US regions as well as teams from all over the world have imagined, designed, and built cities for DiscoverE’s 2023-2024 Future City® Competition. This year’s theme, Electrify Your Future, challenged students to imagine and design future cities that are fully electric and powered by clean, green, and renewable energy sources.

Farnsworth Middle School from the New York Albany 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.).

Second place went to Lionville Middle School in Exton, PA. Representing the PA (Philadelphia) region, Lionville Middle School earned honors for its city Mawiana. Their organization receives a $5,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by Shell.

A2-Sydney- engineered by the Warwick Middle School in Lititz, PA, took third place honors. Their program receives a $2,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by Bechtel.

Fourth place went to Al-hadi School of Accelerative Learning from Houston, TX, for their project Fursa city. Tierra Fuerza – engineered by students from Fort Couch Middle School in Upper St. Clair, PA, from the PA (Pittsburgh) region took fifth place. Both schools receive $750 for their organization’s STEM programs, sponsored by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

Working as a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); a project plan to help keep their project on track; a presentation and Q&A session with a panel of judges. 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?

One of the nation’s leading engineering education programs and among the most popular, Future City is accessible to every student. The Future City competition recognizes the importance of inclusion and emphasizes participation from all students, male and female, all races and ethnicities and all economic levels. Participants come from middle schools, both public and private, can be home-schooled and can also be members of a nationally, regionally, or state-recognized youth-focused organization, such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, or 4-H Clubs. Last year, 52 percent of the students were female, 39 percent of the students were minority, and 43 percent were low-income students from Title I schools, meaning schools which are federally funded based on the number of students at that school who qualify for free or reduced cost lunch.

Students apply Math and Science to real world problems and 85% of students reported that Future City helped them see Math and Science as important to their future.

Future City® extends its gratitude to major sponsors, including the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems Inc., NCEES, PMIEF, and the Overdeck Family Foundation. The competition is also supported by Linde Engineering, Pentair Foundation, and Shell Energy.

For those passionate about inspiring the next generation of engineers, Future City has ongoing volunteer opportunities.

The Future City® competition is a program of Discover Engineering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. DiscoverE’s initiatives include Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day™, World Engineering Day, Chats with Changemakers, and outreach for the Cities of the Future and Dream Big films.


For more information on the Future City Competition visit: FutureCity.org or Future City Press Kit

Contacts: Kathy Renzetti, CAE, Executive Director, kathy@DiscoverE.org , 571-467-0354; or Thea Sahr, Deputy Executive Director, thea@DiscoverE.org , 571-467-0356