Edlin School from Mid-Atlantic Region Wins Grand Prize At 26th Annual Future City® Competition Winning School Hails From Reston, VA

WASHINGTON DC, February 20, 2018 – A city of the future – Halona  –  engineered by students from Edlin School in Reston, VA – has won the grand prize today at the 2018 Future City® Competition – the 26th year of this prestigious international program. The students, Vinay Ayala, 12, Lucas Ribeiro, 12 and Nikhil Kuntipuram 11, teamed with teacher Vasantha Ayala and volunteer mentor Nandhini Kuntipuram, Director of Product Management at the American College of Cardiology in Washington DC, to earn the 2017 Grand Prize. The Future City Finals, which concluded today at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, is one of the showcase events taking place during Engineers Week.

“It was hard work, there is a lot of tough competition out there,” said Vinay Ayala from the winning team. “We learned how teamwork plays a key role. You need to know how to cooperate as a team, acknowledge mistakes and get through it.”

Since last fall, more than 40,000 middle school students from 1,350 schools in 41 US regions, as well as teams from Canada, China, and the Middle East, have been imagining, designing and building the cities of the future. Regional Finals were held across the country in January. This year’s theme, The Age Friendly City, asked students to design innovative solutions that could serve an urban area’s older population and enable seniors to remain active and independent.

Edlin School, from the Mid-Atlantic 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.). Their city’s solution is based on the model the team researched, developed and presented.

Second place went to Michigan Region students from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester, MI . The students, Ethan Dodson, Reagan Rutkowski and Sloan Kerska, teamed with teacher Linda Gerhardt, PhD and volunteer mentor William Abramczyk for their Future City, Copper Valley. St. John Lutheran receives a $5,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Adelaide – engineered by Alabama Region students from Academy For Science & Foreign Language in Huntsville, AL took third place honors.  The school receives a $2,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by Shell.

Honorable mention for fourth place went to Oklahoma Region students from St. Philip Neri Catholic School in Midwest City, OK for their Future City, Kotahi. Fifth place was awarded to North Carolina Region students from Hanes Magnot School in Winston-Salem, NC  for their city Pyongyang. Each receives $750 for their organization’s STEM programs, sponsored by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

The Future City Competition empowers students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades to imagine, research, design and build cities of the future. 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?

Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a virtual city design using SimCity™ software. They research a city-wide issue and write a 1,500 word essay describing their findings and innovative solutions. Teams complete a project plan to help keep their project on track. They also build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials and describe their finding in a short presentation about their city to a panel of STEM professionals.

One of the nation’s leading engineering education programs and among the most popular, Future City has received national recognition and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 2017 marked the third consecutive year Future City received a prestigious national award as a leading engineering education program, as it was recognized by US2020 and co-founding sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services for its achievements and innovations in STEM education and its accessibility to underrepresented youth.

In 2016, the Future City Competition received the 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction, presented by Turner Construction Company and the National Building Museum.

In 2015, Future City was named the grand prize winner in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) Innovative Education Award program, receiving a $100,000 award. The UL award highlights the essential, urgent and significant value of E-STEM education.

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 www.futurecity.org.

Major funding for Future City comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. Additional program support is provided by UL, EA and AARP.

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 www.discovere.org.


Future City Competition - National:

Carina Sayles

Sayles & Winnikoff Communications

(212) 725-5200 ext. 210



Alyssa Tognetti

Sayles & Winnikoff Communications

212-725-5200 x114