The Future City Competition is a national program sponsored by the engineering community to promote an interest in technology and engineering in middle school students through hands-on, real world applications. The Ohio Region competition is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in public, private, and parochial schools within Ohio, and the 2015 Ohio Region competition was held on Saturday, January 17, 2015, at Columbus State Community College’s Center for Workforce Development, in Columbus. The competition is team-based. Each team is comprised of three students, a teacher sponsor, and an engineer mentor. The four phases of the work done by each team are as follows:
- Design: Each team develops a future city design using SimCity 4 Deluxe software.
- Build: The team builds a scale model of a section of their city to give a 3-D representation of one section of the teams’ future city developed in Phase 1.
- Write: The team writes an essay explaining their response to a specific engineering challenge that is determined by the organizers. The team also writes an abstract describing the key features of the design.
- Present: Each team gives a timed presentation of their city to a panel of judges and answers question related to the city’s design.
Awards are given to the overall 1st through 5th place city designs. The overall Ohio 1st place winner advances to the Future City Competition National Finals in Washington, D.C. and competes during National Engineers Week. National Engineers Week is February 22-28, 2015. Batavia Middle School, Batavia, Ohio, is headed to Washington to compete for the second year in a row.
There are also 13 Special Awards, including Best Use of Ceramics, presented by Allied Mineral Products, Columbus, Ohio. First place and honorable mentions for each special award are determined by the scoring of volunteer judges at the regional competition. Dana Goski, Allied Mineral Products; Derek Miller, The Ohio State University; and Dave Lankard; Lankard Materials Lab, Columbus, Ohio, judged the Best Use of Ceramics Special Award at the competition. The 1st Place Best Use of Ceramics was awarded to Heritage Middle School, Westerville, Ohio, and the honorable mention was awarded to Lakewood Middle School, Hebron, Ohio.