Alabama's Academy For Science And Foreign Language Wins Grand Prize At 2016 Future City Competition

Alabama’s Academy For Science And Foreign Language
Wins Grand Prize At 2016 Future City® Competition

WASHINGTON DC, February 16, 2016 – A city of the future – Ville Suave – engineered by students from the Academy for Science and Foreign Language in Huntsville, Alabama – has won the grand prize today at the 2016 Future City® Competition. The students – Isabel Waring,12 Hannah White,14 and  Alexa Huerta,13 – teamed with teacher Angela Traylor and volunteer mentor Raymond Woodson, a retired aeronautical engineer -  to earn the 2016 Grand Prize.

“This was one of the best experiences of my life,” said winning student Isabel Waring. “I learned so much about engineering that I didn’t know and I made so many new friends.  If anyone asks me if they should compete in Future City, I’d have only one thing to say: ‘Do it!!’ 

Since last fall, 40,000 middle school students from 1,300 schools have been engaged in the 2015-16 Future City® Competition. This year’s challenge: Waste Not, Want Not, which challenged students to design waste management systems of the future.

Teams from 37 middle schools and organizations, each a winner of intense regional competitions held throughout January, participated in the Future City National Finals, which took place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC as part of Engineers Week. 

Academy for Science and Foreign Language takes home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for its school’s STEM program (provided by National Finals sponsor Bentley Systems, Inc.). Their city’s solution is based on the model the team researched, developed and presented.

Second place went to Harbor View Academy from the Texas (North) region for their Future City, which they titled Bedford Falls. The team, based in Rockwall, Texas, is comprised of students Joy Mitchell,13 Joshua Richardson, 13, Lucy Metheny, 12, as well as teacher Kimberly Mitchell   and mentor Mary Jo Marvin, a retired engineer from Raytheon in Garland, Texas. Harbor View Academy receives a $5,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Michigan’s St. John Lutheran School in Rochester took third place honors for its Future City Egabrag. St. John Lutheran School receives a $2,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by IEEE-USA.

Honorable mention for fourth place went to New Lebanon Jr. Sr. High School in the New York (Albany) region for their city Marhielo. Fifth place was awarded to Arizona region’s Veritas Homeschoolers for their city Alegria. Each receives $750 for their organization’s STEM programs, sponsored by Ohio University and NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

During the Future City Competition, students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to imagine, design and create a city of the future. Teams use SimCity™ software to develop a virtual city, research a city-wide sustainability issue, and write a city description about their findings and solutions. They build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials costing no more than $100 and give a short presentation about their city. They also complete a project plan to organize their work and keep on schedule.

Future City was recently honored as the grand prize winner of a $100,000 award in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) Innovative Education Award program (ULIEA). Developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the UL Innovative Education Award  is open to nonprofits that motivate K-12 schools about science research through E-STEM programming and education about the environment. 

Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including mentors and regional coordinators. For information about Future City or to volunteer, visit

Major funding for the National Finals comes from Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems and Shell Oil Company.

About DiscoverE

DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit



Future City Competition - National:

Carina Sayles
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications
(908) 295-0177 

Geena Pandolfi
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications




Press Release