On the street
When I learned how to do the Gram stain in microbiology.
In 150 years, cities probably won’t look the same they do now, so local eighth graders are designing their vision of the future.
It’s for a competition called National Engineers’ Week Future City, started by the National Society of Professional Engineers. This year, teams are focusing on recycling and reusing water.
Two teams at West Junior High are preparing for the regional test later this month with their two future cities — Ydropolis and New Orleans.
The Ydropolis team, including Colin O’Neal, Tucker Prescher and Antonio Schoneich, designed a floating city that could serve as a stop on a trans-Atlantic tunnel between New York and London.
“We have a stabilizing engine to keep the city level because of the waves and the water,” said Schoneich.
Team New Orleans took their inspiration from a final future city last year that revamped Greensburg after a devastating tornado.
“We thought that New Orleans, since it’s had a lot of troubles recently, that rebuilding them, that city, would be a cool idea,” said Kolbe Murray.
Teammate Lexi Adams thinks people would have a great time in the new New Orleans.
“It’s be lots of fun because there’s a greenhouse,” she said. “And we have bio-dome parks.”
Gifted facilitator Pamela Simpson says the project touches on more than just science.
“This one is so cross-curricular,” she said. “It really touches on social studies, English and science and math. It really hits everything.”
Students must write an essay on the year’s theme, an abstract on why people would want to live in their town, including the infrastructure and services, and design the city on a computer system called SimCity.
“It has to meet really specific criteria that the engineers set out for them,” said Simpson. “Probably the biggest thing that eighth graders learn is how to work as a team without an adult constantly telling them what to do.”
The teams are ready for the competition. This is West’s fifth year competing. The last three years, they have ended up in the final five at regionals.
“I’m looking forward to see the other models that are there,” said Adams. “Just to see if any of us had the same ideas and to see how ours compares to theirs.”
Schoneich is excited and nervous to give the 7-minute presentation in front of the judges.
“It will be hard to get over the nerves, but you never know how it’ll go,” he said.
The competition is Jan. 24 at Kansas State University in Manhattan.