Future City Team Wins Special Awards at Regional Competition

The Ellis School received two overall awards at the 19th annual Future City regional competition at the Carnegie Science Center on January 19. The Middle School team was awarded “Best Computer City Design” and “Most Holistic Approach” for their city, Pierre Jaune. Ellis also received special recognition for their participation in the competition for the last 11 years.
Challenged to create a city with a resilient power grid that could recover quickly from a natural disaster, Ellis’s city was based on Sante Fe, New Mexico, and set 200 years in the future. Constructed to withstand the Yellowstone volcanic eruption, the new-age city featured renewable energy sources like solar orbs, nuclear fusion, and wireless transmission to provide power and electricity. Students also created Adobe complexes, structures dedicated to indoor farming that repurposed ash from the eruption to repair buildings, and implemented the use of drones and robots to filter ash and poisonous gases in the city.

Each year, the Future City competition challenges students to create cities that meet specific engineering and design requirements in response to a global issue. Teams then work together to construct the city and showcase it to a panel of judges via five components: a virtual presentation using SimCity software, a 1,500-word essay, a project plan, a presentation, and a to-scale model. The multifaceted competition allows students of all skill levels and talents to use their strengths to create something compelling individually and as a team.

“The competition gives the girls a lot of choices. There are different roles that are needed at different points of the project, so every girl can prioritize what they want to focus on,” said Joanne Buchbinder, Future City Coach. “As a team, they’re writing, researching, editing, and creating together. They’re learning how to organize group work, communicate effectively, and handle disagreements in constructive ways.”

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