Students Develop Key Learning Skills While Considering Ohio’s Transportation Future

This fall, middle school students from across the nation are being challenged to design transportation solutions for the future in the 2013/2014 National Engineer’s Week Future City Competition. Ohio students and professional mentors are encouraged to participate. The registration deadline is Oct. 31, 2013.

Ohio is one of 37 regions in the nation taking part in this year’s competition which begins in the fall and culminates with Ohio regional finals on Jan. 18, 2014. The winning team will represent Ohio at the national finals being held in Washington, D.C., during National Engineer’s Week, Feb. 15-19, 2014. The national finals champion team will receive a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. provided by National Finals host Bentley Systems Inc.

Last year, 80 Ohio middle school students participated in the state competition, and for 2013-14, the state Future City organization would like to see more students get involved. The National Engineer’s Week Foundation Future City Competition is inviting students to tackle, “Tomorrow’s Transit: Design A Way to Move People In and Around Your City.” With global urban populations expanding and energy concerns growing, there is a demand to create new transportation solutions that are quick, reliable and sustainable.

Sixth, seventh and eighth graders are eligible to participate in the competition. For more information, or to register a team and learn how to find an engineering mentor, please contact Ohio’s Future City program at www.futurecity.org/Ohio. If you are interested in participating as an engineer or technical mentor, check the Ohio website for this information as well.

During the competition, student teams work together to design a virtual city using SimCityTM software. They research a city-wide issue, such as transportation and the environment, and write an essay with their findings and solutions. They build a tabletop- scale model of their city using recycled materials that cost no more than $100 and write a brief narrative to promote their project. At the regional competition, they present their final project to a panel of judges. Future Cities puts student competitors in real world situations and asks them to be the problem-solvers as they brainstorm ideas and design solutions. In doing so, they develop teamwork and presentation skills and gain the opportunity to see themselves in the role of making their world a better place.

About the Future City Competition

The Annual National Engineers Week Foundation’s Future City Competition is held from September 2013 through February 2014. The Future City Competition is a program of the NEWF – National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations. Major funding for the national finals comes from Bentley Systems Inc. and Shell Oil Company. In Ohio, gold level sponsors include Xylem and CH2M Hill. An Ohio Silver level sponsor is Autotool and bronze level sponsors include Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund and PPG Industries.