|Seventeen schools participated in the 20thAnnual DiscoverE Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition at Carnegie Science Center on January 19, 2019. The team from Fort Couch Middle School in Upper St. Clair won first place and will go on to compete in the international Future City Competition finals in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19, 2019, during National Engineers Week.
The Future City Competition empowers students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades to imagine, research, design and build cities of the future. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: “How can we make the world a better place?”
This year’s theme, “Powering Our Future,” challenged students to design a resilient power grid for their future city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.
Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a virtual city design using SimCity™ software. They research a city-wide issue and write a 1,500-word essay describing their findings and innovative solutions. Teams complete a project plan to help keep their project on track. They also build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials and describe their finding in a short presentation about their city to a panel of STEM professionals.
The team from Fort Couch Middle School also received special awards for Best Essay and Protecting the Public’s Safety and Welfare through Competent and Ethical Engineering Practices. The school also received recognition for celebrating its 19th year participating in the Future City Competition.
St. Edmund’s Academy in Squirrel Hill took second place, West Mifflin Area School District in West Mifflin took third place, St. Bede School in Point Breeze took fourth place, and Marion Center Jr./Sr. High School in Indiana County took fifth place.
In addition, special awards were conferred by various sponsors. The Outstanding First Year Team award, recognizing the best first-time competitor, went to the team from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, Pa. Based on a vote from student participants, Derry Area Middle School from Derry, Pa., won the Student Choice Award.
Participating schools were:
- Baden Academy Charter School
- Christ The Devine Teacher Catholic Academy
- Derry Area Middle School
- Divine Mercy Academy
- Fort Couch Middle School
- Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
- Marion Center Jr./Sr. High
- Propel East
- Propel McKeesport
- Springdale Jr./Sr. High
- St. Bede School
- St. Edmund’s Academy
- St. Thomas More School
- The Ellis School
- Triadelphia Middle School
- West Mifflin Area School District
- Winchester Thurston School
The Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition is presented annually by Carnegie Science Center, as a program of the Duquesne Light Co. Center for STEM Education and Career Development. Sponsors for this regional competition include Engineer’s Society of Western Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Energy GRID Institute, AECOM, American Society of Civil Engineers, HATCH, Society for Women Engineers, and Duquesne University Bayer School of Natural & Environmental Science.