Ellis’ Middle School Future City Team took first place at the 21st Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition on Saturday, January 18. The team won special awards for Best Essay and Best Management of Water Resources and took first place overall. The team will advance to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., next month and will compete against over 40 teams from all over the country as well as from Canada and China. This win marks the sixth time Ellis has won the regional competition in twelve years of competing.
The team’s 1,500-word essay, 7-minute presentation, and scale city model showed their solution to this year’s engineering challenge: “Choose a threat to your city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean water.” Named “Tutum-Certa,”
(Latin for "Safe" and "Reliable"), Ellis’ fictitious city proposed fighting the threat of microplastics in water through Decentralized Modular water treatment plants that use electrocoagulation and vortex settlers to remove impurities from the water.
At the upcoming national competition, Ellis will showcase their city via five components: a virtual city using SimCity software, a 1,500-word essay, a project plan, a presentation, and a scale model of their city.
“This mature, driven team of girls has been incredibly dedicated all year. They put in the extra time necessary in order to be well prepared for a tough competition,” said Karen Compton, Middle School Science Teacher and Future City Advisor. “They are very excited to be representing the Pittsburgh Region at the National Finals!”