January 28, 2020 – Benedict Dubbs, Jr. AIA RA, LEED AP, Principal of Murray Associates Architects, was a judge for the 2020-2021 Central Pennsylvania Future-City Competition this past weekend at the PA State Museum in Harrisburg
The Future City Competition is a project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place? Students repeatedly report that the program increases their motivation and excitement about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In addition, students and teachers report a marked improvement in students’ 21st Century skills.
During the Future City Competition, students work as a team to complete five deliverables. They design a virtual city using SimCity™ software. They research a city-wide issue and write an essay describing their findings and innovative solutions. Teams complete a project plan to help keep their project on track. They also build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials and create a short presentation about their city.
Benedict judged 17 teams. “I was amazed to the thought processes and sustainable ideas all the regional 6th, 7th and 8th graders had to make the world a better place. The students imagined, researched, designed, and built cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. I am looking forward to many future architects and engineers!”
The Future City Program is a cross-curricular educational program that gives students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades an opportunity to do the things that engineers do – identify problems, brainstorm ideas, design solutions, test and retest, build, and then share the results.. https://futurecity.org/pennsylvania-central