Hundreds of middle school students, their teachers and mentors were at the University of Kansas Saturday, Jan. 21, for the annual Future City Competition – Great Plains Regional. But only one team – Sassafrassia, from Leawood Middle School in Leawood Kan. – walked away with the top honor and a trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C.
The annual Great Plains Regional competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and coordinated by engineers at the Kansas Department of Transportation, lets middle school students in Missouri and Kansas design and build a city of the future to address a specific engineering challenge. Students get to use SimCity Deluxe software to plan their city and use recycled materials to build a tabletop model of their metropolis. The participants make oral presentations of their ideas before panels of professional engineer judges.
The Future City of Sassafrassia focused on perfecting and harnessing nuclear fusion as a chief power source for its residents. The Leawood Middle School team will present its design and model during the national competition sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation on Feb. 18-22. The student presenters are Joey Holliday, Hannah Motley, and Robert Tenny. Additional student team members are Miles Green, Katie Hull, Roxanna Hamidpour, Julia Lytle, Sean McCray, Deven Pandya, Anna Song, and Anja Tonkovic-Capin. Their teacher is Tish Varraveto. Their engineering mentor is Ralph DeGrutolla.
A variety of awards are determined at the regional competition and are presented to teams that excelled in a particular aspect of the event. In addition, the top five teams at the regional event receive cash awards for their schools from the KU School of Engineering and the Kansas State University College of Engineering to further encourage math and science education. Team members of the winning group, in addition to receiving a trip to the national finals, each receive a $1,000 scholarship from the KU School of Engineering to study engineering at KU after they graduate from high school.
More than 30,000 students across the United States take part in this design challenge each year. Students, teachers and mentors begin their Future City journey in September and must complete several projects and objectives as part of the competition. Each aspect of the competition – such as the design phase and the written report – counts toward the team’s total score. The presentation at the regional competition counts for up to 22.5 percent of a team’s score. Grand prize for the national winner is a trip to U.S. Space Camp. Several additional prizes and honors are awarded at the national finals.
View a photo gallery of the 2012 Great Plains Regional Future City Competition.
A complete list of winners and awards:
Sassafrassia, Leawood Middle School, Leawood KS
Students Presenters: Joey Holliday, Hannah Motley, and Robert Tenny; Student Team Members: Miles Green, Katie Hull, Roxanna Hamidpour, Julia Lytle, Sean McCray, Deven Pandya, Anna Song, Anja Tonkovic-Capin
Teacher: Tish Varraveto
Mentor: Ralph DeGrutolla
Punarjanma, West Middle School, Lawrence, KS
Students: Maame Britwum, Trenna Soderling, Grace Eason, Cadence Learned, Bennett Haase-Divine
Teacher: Kate Welch
Mentor: Stacey Lamer
Palekaiko, Southwest Middle School, Lawrence, KS
Students: Elliott Abromeit, Mikey Corbett, Matt Roe, Joaquin Dorado-Mariscal, Noah Christilles, Ethan Kallenberger
Teacher: Danielle Lotton-Barker
Mentor: Christopher Storm
Joule, Trail Ridge Middle School, Lenexa, KS
Students: Brandon Ault, Rebecca Carroll, Jake Robinson, Clayton Feldman, Hallie Ingraham, Lauren Kruckenberg, Stephen Nachsheim, Bria Northrup, Gage Oberheu, Tevyn Pak, Reagan Walsh, Zach Ziegenhorn
Teacher: Vonda Morris
Mentor: Leigh Ann Carroll
Windigstadt, Morgan Co. R-1, Stover, Mo.
Students: Heather Fields, Garrett Louiselle, Destinee Wilson, Remington Verts
Teacher: Kim Buck
Mentor: Mike Unger
Other awards and distinctions
Best Named City, sponsored by Engineers Club of Kansas City
Tight-Anium City, Raytown Middle School, Raytown, MO
Best New School or Teacher, sponsored by Missouri Society of Professional Engineers
NSV City, Ken Baremore, teacher; Selvidge Middle School, Ballwin, MO.
Most Innovative Transportation System, sponsored by KC Chapter Institute of Transportation Engineering
Lardarello, Lansing Middle School, Lansing, KS
Most Innovative Fuels for Transportation, sponsored by PEC Engineers
Independence, Jefferson West Middle School, Meriden, KS
Best Oral Communications, sponsored by Parsons Brinkerhoff
Fumidusinus, West Middle School, Lawrence, KS
Balance of Technology with Social Issues Award, sponsored by Society of Women Engineers
Flotason, Concordia Junior High, Concordia, KS
Best Written Communications, sponsored by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Bellewood, Republic County Junior High, Belleville, KS
Infrastructure Award, sponsored by American Public Works Association - Heart of America Section
Super Snoopy, Indian Trail Middle School, Olathe, KS
Mother Earth Award, sponsored by GBA Architects, Engineers
Gravinetix, Raytown Central Middle School, Raytown, MO.
Future Fuels Improving Transportation, sponsored by Burns & McDonnell
Thunder Valley, Harmony Middle School, Overland Park, KS
Innovations in Transportation Infrastructure, sponsored by HNTB
Serendipity, Prairie Trail Middle School, Olathe, KS
Camelot Award for Safest City, sponsored by Engineers Foundation of Kansas,
Hidden Valley Ranch, Raytown Middle School, Raytown, MO
Building a World of Difference Award, sponsored by Black & Veatch
Conturum, California Trail Middle School, Olathe, KS
University Award, sponsored by Kansas State University College of Engineering
Geneva, McPherson Middle School, McPherson, KS
Deans’ Choice Award, sponsored by University of Kansas School of Engineering
SAL City, Reno Valley Middle School, Nickerson, KS
People’s Choice Award – selected by student participants, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers
R.A.N. Diego, Prosperity Elementary School, Buhler, KS