Dallas Academy’s middle school science students traveled to the University of Texas at Arlington on Saturday to compete in the annual National Engineers Future City Competition. Science teacher Amy Delaney led seventh and eighth grade students through the months of preparation involved in researching, designing, and creating two successful competition submissions. Future City focuses on the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a fun and creative way. Dallas Academy competed against students from area public, private, and charter schools and returned to campus with numerous awards including third place overall winner for the seventh grade team.
Future City is one of the most anticipated projects for seventh and eighth grade students at Dallas Academy. The national competition tasks middle school science students with brainstorming, designing, and creating a city one hundred and fifty years in the future which solves a problem facing humanity. This years' theme of "The Power of Public Spaces" was announced in September and students from around the nation eagerly began the process of creating their cities. Ms. Delaney, along with the support of city planner Ann Bagley and engineer Mark Mihm, spent the fall preparing students for competition day. Students were tasked with designing a computer simulation, writing an essay, creating a city plan, and building a scale model of their city of the future. In addition to the designing and building, each group had to present their city to a panel of UTA judges, local engineers, city planners, as well as their peers on the day of the competition.
An audience of over five hundred people packed the college auditorium on January, 28th to view the sixty competition submissions and to hear the group presentations. Dallas Academy’s seventh grade class created their futuristic city of Kupan, Sweden. The team was incredibly successful and took home the top third place award of the day. The team also won the award for “Excellence in Systems Integration.” Making their city unique was the creation of genetically altered bamboo that was used in the reconstruction of brown fields and grey fields to make affordable “tiny” homes. They also created areas for local, small businesses to thrive. They used their public spaces to save the honeybee population by making three-dimensional flow hives and implemented nano-technology to track the bees, their level of stress, and pollination. Representing the seventh grade class were presenters Bella Bagley, Xalen McGinn, and Aidan Alost along with alternate Mia Taylor. The team expertly shared their vision of Kupan, their creative concepts, and their engineering ingenuity with the large and interactive audience.
Dallas Academy’s eighth grade team created their future city of Conexion, Spain. Making their project unique was their focus on waterfront commercial and residential property. They created modular, monolithic public spaces on the water, autonomous pods, and multi-functional spaces. Conexion boasted a historic district which seamlessly blended modern architecture and historic property. Their subterranean zone contained a water filtration system which contained their moving part which was inspired by Archimedes Screw. Representing the team were presenters Luke Nammari, Kade Findley, and Matt Rayner.
Dallas Academy is so proud of our seventh and eighth grade students for another year of successful Future City competition. Ms. Delaney is appreciative of Dallas Academy faculty members Anna Smith, Sam Ratliff, Caroline Cooper, and Blake Hennegan for lending their support and expertise to help bring our students’ vision to life. Dallas Academy is proud of our future engineers and looks forward to competing again next year.