February 22, 2018
A city of the future – Halona – engineered by students from Edlin School in Reston, VA – has won the grand prize recently at the 2018 Future City® Competition – the 26th year of this prestigious international program. The students, Vinay Ayala, 12, Lucas Riberio, 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 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, is one of the showcase events taking place during Engineers Week.
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.
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.
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.