Students in grades six, seven and eight are eligible to enter competition
Registrations for the Future City® Competition are now being accepted by Carnegie Science Center. Middle school student teams are being sought for this national DiscoverE Future City Program as part of a project based learning experience. In the competition, contestants are challenged to imagine, design and build cities of the future bases on a given theme or concept.
For the region comprising western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Carnegie Science Center manages the competition as a program of its Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development.
This year’s theme is “Feeding Future Cities” and encourages students to explore today’s urban agricultural systems now in place and to expand on these ideas into the future. Currently there are a number of systems employed to raise food in an urban environment such as aeroponic, hydroponic. roof top farming, French intensive garden plots, patio gardening, recycled grey water and farm to table solutions.
It has been predicted that in the coming years there will not be enough arable land on Earth to produce enough food for the growing population. Along with this is the prediction that most of the population will be centered around urban areas. With this thought in mind, the obvious solution is for city dwellers to be able to raise their own food in sufficient quantities. Along with vegetables and fruits, small “ranching” enterprises for raising chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats can be pursued.
In the competition, the team will be paired with an educator and an engineer in order to mentor the students. The cities will be designed using SimCity™ software. While researching for solutions the team will be responsible to write an essay describing their solution to feeding their citizens. Lastly, the team will construct a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials and a budget of no more than $100 as well as write a brief narrative to promote their city and ideas.
The Pittsburgh regional teams will present their ideas before judges at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. The winner will compete with winners of 36 other regional competitions at the National Finals in Washington, DC, in February.Major funding for the National Finals comes from Shell Oil Company, Bentley Systems and Bechtel Corporation.
“It’s always exciting to see how young kids envision the future,” said Lisa Kosick, who coordinates Carnegie Science Center’s regional competition. “Teachers always tell us that the students learn so much about teamwork and problem-solving, and they get so absorbed in their months-long projects. Students tell us they have a lot of fun! We think that Future City is a fantastic way to introduce kids to some pretty sophisticated engineering concepts, and to get them thinking about possible careers in engineering and other STEM fields.” Last school year, 40 schools participated, and even more participants are anticipated for the upcoming competition.
Nationally, more than 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part each year in the Future City® Competition. The deadline for schools to register is October 15, 2014. Schools may register today or learn more at www.futurecity.org. Students, teachers, and prospective volunteers are urged to visit the Facebook page for more information and updates on the Future City® Competition.
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.
About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.
The mission of DiscoverE is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration and volunteerism. DiscoverE supports a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.