BBI’s Larry Barfield, PE, FNSPE and JR Reddish, PE, FNSPE, FSAME joined a large group of innovative middle schoolers on Saturday, January 19th at the Gilruth Center on the campus of the Johnson Space Center in Houston for the 26th Annual Houston Regional Future City Competition. Students in grades 6-8 from public, private, or homeschool groups were invited to work as teams with an educator and volunteer mentor to take part in the competition. This year’s challenge was titled "The Age-Friendly City," and addressed the many challenges that would require innovative solutions to serve an urban area's older population, including accessible and safe transportation options, as well as proper social welfare programs and health care services.
Larry and JR had the honor of serving as judges for the competition as students presented their five competition deliverables which included an oral presentation, a virtual design of their ideal city using SimCity software, a scale model of their proposed city, a project plan, and a 1,500-word essay. This year’s winning team was team “Aurora Neige” from The Circle School, who won a trip to Space Camp and a $7,500 cash prize.
Along with these prizes (and bragging rights), the winning team will go on to compete against other teams from around the world in a national competition held next month in Washington D.C.!
Future City is a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program that allows students to imagine, design, and build cities of the future. The Future City website describes its use of the engineering design process “as a framework to guide students through the creation of their cities. Within this framework, students apply specific project management methods to keep their projects on track. This structure gives students a real-world learning experience they can apply to future challenges in school, work, and life.”
For more information about this event and the organization, visit: futurecity.org/texas-houston