For the 13th consecutive year NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering served as host to the Metropolitan Regional Finals of the Future City Competition. The finals were held on Saturday, January 23, 2010, and were conducted under the guidance of the School of Engineering's David Packard Center for Technology and Educational Alliances and the Metropolitan Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. A major sponsor of these Regional Finals was the Consolidated Edison Company.
Twenty-three teams of talented seventh and eighth grade students from fifteen schools in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island gathered in Polytechnic’s gymnasium to exhibit models of futuristic communities which they had developed during five intensive months of research and planning.
This year, 40 regions, involving approximately 33,000 students in over a thousand schools, participated nationally. Future Cities is sponsored in part by the National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of more than 100 professional and technical societies and major corporations. It is the largest and most successful education program of its kind.
Future City, now in its 18th year, requires middle school students to create a city-of-the-future, first on a computer and then as a three-dimensional tabletop model. Working in three-member teams, supported by a teacher and a mentor-engineer, students create their cities using the SimCity 4 Deluxe software donated to all participating schools by Electronic Arts, Inc. of Redwood City, California. Students also write a city abstract and an essay on using engineering to solve an important social need.
The competition employs a team-based approach. All members of the team have an important role that is necessary for the completion of the project. In addition to team work, students learn problem-solving, research and presentation skills, practical math and science applications and computer skills.
This year the essay centered on “Providing an affordable green living space for people who have lost their home due to a disaster or financial emergency.” Students were required to design a living space that uses sustainable materials, incorporates a low-carbon emissions footprint, and achieves the “Green Ideals” of energy efficient building. The living space design had to consider the social, economic and ecological impact of the manufacturing and construction techniques.
At the event, the teams presented and defended their cities-of-the-future before judges, consisting of engineers and professors of engineering.
At the School of Engineering event students competed for scholarship and prizes. Winning teams from qualifying regional competitions receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Future City National Finals in Washington, D.C., February 15-17, 2010 during Engineers Week. The national grand prize is a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering provides each student on the first place team with an annual scholarship of $5000, pending his/her acceptance and enrollment at the School of Engineering. Each member of the second and third place teams receives an annual scholarship of $2000 and $1000 respectively, upon his/her enrollment at the School of Engineering.
This year the first place prize went to Islip Middle School’s team Fa’a Filemu.
In addition to team work, students learn problem-solving, research and presentation skills, practical math and science applications and computer skills.