Future City regional competition

ITD helps young planners envision cleaner future

Bright young minds tackled the challenge of building cities for the future during the National Engineers Week Future City regional competition at Boise State University last week.

The competition challenged 25 teams of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students and their expert mentors to envision an ideal urban environment based on a theme. This year’s theme focused on designing clean solutions to manage storm water pollution.

While designing a city that improved quality of life, the teams also considered factors such as sustainability, innovation and culture. Team visions are brought to life through a 1,000-word essay, SimCity4 Deluxe computer simulation and large, three-dimensional models built with recycled material and budgets of no more than $100.

ITD is among the organizations that support the regional competition. The department sponsored a special award for “Most effective control of stormwater pollution through the use of structural and/or nonstructural techniques that intercept runoff from developed areas, filter and treat the runoff and discharge it a controlled rate.”

Paul Steinman, chief of operations officer, was a judge on the expert panel, along with Robert Diaz, meteorologist in charge of the Boise Weather Service Office, former astronaut Barbara Morgan, distinguished educator in residence at BSU, and Bill Bones, deputy chief at Boise City Police.

“The students presented outstanding models, were well prepared with their conceptual plans and amazed the final judges with their knowledge of the subject they presented on,” Steinman said.

In addition to showcasing insights and ideas, Future City engages young people in thinking about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in ways that are both exciting and connected to the real world. BSU has been a regional host for the national event the past nine years. The middle-school teams competed for the chance to move on to the national event in Washington, D.C., next month.

Nationally, more than 35,000 students from 1,300 middle schools participated in 36 regional competitions in January. The program is sponsored in part by the National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations.

The top five teams at this year’s regional competition in Boise were:

1. Meridian Middle School's Future City of "Grad Izdrzljivosti"
2. Idaho Distance Education Academy of Boise's Future City of Hurit-Sokanon
3. Emmett Junior High's Future City of Hujan-Kota. 
4. Idaho Science and Technology Charter School's Future City of Charterville from Blackfoot Idaho
5. Lake Hazel Middle School's Future City of Hydrohaven.

ITD judges and volunteers for the 2013 Future Cities competition at BSU were: Erika Bowen, Michelle George, Maureen Gresham, Nathan Herbst, Megan Kautz, Greg Laragan, Maranda O’Bray, Herbert McDowell, Rod Reed, Amy Schroeder, Paul Steinman, Sue Sullivan and Brad Wolfinger.

(Top) 1st Place - Meridian Middle School's Future City of "Grad Izdrzljivosti" which is Croatian for City of Endurance. They also took home the special awards for the city with the "Best Electrical Power Delivery System" and "Multidisciplinary Solutions Award."

(Bottom): (Homedale Middle School) Paul Steinman presented ITD’s Special Award for “Innovation in Stormwater Management” to the Homedale Middle School team and their Future City of HydraCORE

Published 2-1-2013