Science Students Awarded in Future City Competition

Dallas Academy science students once again entered the National Engineers Future City Competition held at the University of Texas at Arlington on January 26th. Over seventy projects were entered into the competition from area public, private, and charter schools. Dallas Academy’s city of the future was ranked in the top five projects and advanced to the final round of the competition. By the end of the day, Dallas Academy took home the overall third place prize and received a special award for "Excellence in Storm Water Management."

The annual Future City Competition is one of the most anticipated projects for seventh grade students at Dallas Academy. Science teacher Amy Delaney is always excited to learn the yearly theme of the competition and to prepare her students for the project. This year’s theme was to design and create a city approximately one hundred and fifty years in the future which offers a variety of solutions to managing storm water runoff and pollution. Beginning in September, Dallas Academy students eagerly began the process of brainstorming, researching, and designing their project. Students are asked to create their city of the future by submitting a computer simulation and scale model of their city as well as submit an essay and narrative detailing their design.

Dallas Academy students, Ms. Delaney, and parent engineering mentor Mark Mihm researched and tested a variety of solutions for handling storm water runoff. Students came up with a variety of solutions which included building floating homes, hillside communities, storm water Microbots, personal filtration systems, increased vegetation and porous surfaces, harvesting rainwater, and working with flood waters by zoning agricultural regions in flood plains.

In addition to the computer simulation, essay, narrative, and scale model that were created in advance, the top five projects that moved on to the final round had to present their city to a panel of UTA judges, local engineers, as well as their competitors. Dallas Academy’s presenters included DJ Patrick, Kristen Wagner, Shan Wolff, Bryghte Johnson, and Saralinda Noakes.

The National Engineers Future City Competition strives to educate students about the real environmental issues that they may face as the leaders of tomorrow. Through this competition students learn teamwork, time management, creative thinking, research and writing skills, as well as how to apply math, science, and English tools in a fun and competitive environment. Ms. Delaney commented after the completion, “I am so proud of my seventh grade students and the tremendous effort they dedicated to Future City. They worked so diligently on all aspects of the project and it was amazing to see their creativity unfold when they were designing their solutions to manage storm water runoff.” The Dallas Academy community is very proud of Ms. Delaney, Mr. Mihm, and the entire seventh class.