Science Students Awarded in Future City Competition

Dallas Academy middle school students participated in the National Engineers Future City Competition on Saturday, January 31st. This year marks the sixth year that Dallas Academy has competed in the engineering competition, which is held annually at the University of Texas at Arlington. Science teacher Amy Delaney, along with the support of parent engineering volunteers Mark Mihm and Elise Fermier, led Dallas Academy seventh and eighth grade students through the months of preparation involved in researching, designing, and creating two successful competition submissions. Dallas Academy competed against over fifty projects from public, private, and charter schools throughout the Metroplex and returned to campus with numerous awards.

The annual Future City Competition is one of the most anticipated projects for seventh and eighth grade students at Dallas Academy. The competition tasks middle school science students to design and create a city one hundred and fifty years in the future which solves a problem facing humanity. Science teacher Amy Delaney is always excited to learn the yearly theme of the competition. This year’s theme was to develop new and improved methods for urban agriculture. Beginning in September, Dallas Academy students eagerly began the process of brainstorming their project. Students must create a computer simulation, write an essay and narrative, and build a scale model of their city of the future. In addition to the computer simulation, essay, narrative, and scale model that are created in advance, each group must be prepared to present their city to a panel of UTA judges, local engineers, as well as their competitors on the day of the competition.

Dallas Academy’s seventh grade class created their city of the future in the Netherlands titled HavenBae. To solve the problem of urban agriculture, their city included vertical farms, Aztec floating gardens, farming barges, and historic smock mills. HavenBae won the award for “Best Residential Zone.” HaveBae was also selected as a top-five finalist. As a finalist, the group presented their project to the panel of engineers and their competing teams, which was over 500 people. Presenting for the seventh grade class were John Ridge, Amelia Dominguez, and Samantha Lewis. The team did an outstanding job and were awarded third place overall and won a cash prize of $875.

Dallas Academy’s eighth grade class created their city of the future in Japan and called it Kui-Daore. Kui-Daore utilized urban agriculture techniques such as seawater vertical farms, cephalopod farms, and harvesting drones. Kui-Daore won the award for “Best Use of Innovative Construction Materials and Techniques.” Presenters for Kui-Daore included Payton Menzel, Brandon Valadez, and David Schrupp.

Dallas Academy is so proud of the success of our seventh and eighth grade students in another year of Future City competition. Ms. Delaney and the science faculty at Dallas Academy appreciate how this competition focuses on the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a fun and creative way. Dallas Academy students were proud of the hard work they dedicated to this project and look forward to competing again next year.