Dallas Academy science students once again entered the National Engineers Future City Competition at the University of Texas at Arlington on January 21. Thirty-eight public, private, and charter schools entered the competition, many submitting multiple projects, to compete for a variety of honors and awards. Dallas Academy took home awards for “Excellence in Application of Water Recycling,”“Best Use of Energy Efficiency,” and the coveted “People’s Choice” award.
The annual Future City Competition is one of the most anticipated projects for seventh grade students at Dallas Academy. This year science teacher Amy Delaney decided to expand the project to also include the eighth grade students. For the first time in school history, Dallas Academy submitted two independent projects into the competition.
This year’s competition theme was to design a city approximately 150 years in the future and develop new ways to meet our energy needs and maintain a healthy planet. Students were told to design a city of the future that offers a variety of sustainable energy sources, each of which will have a low impact on the environment. Each project had to contain multiple energy sources, both that currently exist as well as the imagined. Each team had to submit a computer simulation, essay, narrative, scale model of their city, as well as make a presentation.
Dallas Academy students, Ms. Delaney, and parent engineering mentor Mark Mihm researched a variety of sustainable energy sources that would cause only a minor impact on the environment. The seventh grade group chose wave farming, hydroelectric power, and the imagined harvested rainwater power turbines to power their city. Eighth grade students chose geothermal energy, solar power, and the fictional kinetic power from earth’s rotation.
In addition to the computer simulation, essay, narrative, and scale model that were created in advance, students had to present their city to a panel of UTA judges. Emily Stover and Jon Wagner served as the seventh grade presenters for Dallas Academy. The seventh grade team won the award for “Excellence in Application of Water Recycling”. Eighth grade presenters were Cale Winwood and Elise Holland. The eighth grade project won the “People’s Choice” award and “Best Use of Energy Efficiency” award.
The National Engineers Future City Competition strives to teach problem solving, team work, citizenship, public speaking, and time management to middle school students. Ms. Delaney commented after the completion, “I was a little nervous to enter two projects into the completion this year knowing the amount of time and work each project would take however our students rose to the challenge and created award winning projects. I am very proud of my students and the level of dedication that they have displayed throughout the duration of the project.” The Dallas Academy community is very proud of Ms. Delaney, Mr. Mihm, and the seventh and eighth grade classes.