Middle School Wins Awards in STEM Competition

Dallas Academy Students Compete in Future City

 

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 awards and an experience to last a lifetime.

 

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 Aging Population" 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, 27th to view the seventy-nine competition submissions and to hear group presentations. Dallas Academy’s seventh grade class created their city of Belle Ville, Switzerland. The team won the award for “Visionary Architecture” which was presented by the American Institute of Architects. Representing the seventh grade class were student presenters Nasryn Wright, Cole Bruns, and Audrey Merlick as well as team alternates Eli Huffines and Reese Baker. Making their city unique was their invention of exoskeleton mobility suits which were designed to support joints, muscles, and blood circulation in elderly patients. Another unique aspect of their project was the creation of S.M.A.R.T. technology (Specific Medical Alert Recognition Technology) which utilized a variety of tools to monitor the vitals and cognitive functioning of patients and then formulates specific medical plans such as vitamin regimens for their citizens based on the data.

 

Dallas Academy’s eighth grade team created their future city of Kuroba, Texas. The city of Kuroba incorporated the Japanese tradition of respect of the elderly and holistic medicinal practices for the mind, body, and spirit. Presenting for the eighth grade were Aidan Alost, Bella Bagley, and Xalen McGinn with team alternates Ethan Morrison and Mia Taylor. The eighth grade team made it to the final round in the competition as a top five team and won a special award for “Most Creative Bridge” sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Their winning bridge design included a wind turbines which produced enough power to export. Other notable architectural aspects of Kuroba included dynamic architecture and rotating floors to help minimize “Sundown Syndrome” symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Their city’s parks were designed with continuous loops and each segment included design elements to help the mind, body, and spirit of the elderly.

 

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 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.