Middle school students design city of future

People who want to live in a progressive community that has conquered many of the social and health problems other Idaho cities face might consider moving to Dynamis.

But you won’t find the city on an Idaho map.

It’s still on the drawing board, a creation of students from Homedale Middle School. Their project to design a model community emerged on top of judging in the seventh annual Idaho Regional Future City competition at Boise State University.

The winning team consisted of Katlin Carbone, Miguel Salazar, Jennifer Hernandez and Daniel Silva. Their teacher is Jennifer Martin, and Don Vander Boegh, P.E., of Vander Boegh Engineering was the team’s volunteer engineer.

The young planners will take their city to the 19th annual national event in Washington, D.C. Feb. 18-22. Winners of the national competition will have receive a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. The runner-up team will receive $5,000 from the National Society of Professional Engineers; third will receive $2,000 from IEEE-USA for its technology program.

Bentley Systems, Inc., a world leader in providing comprehensive software solutions, and Shell Oil are among the national event sponsors. Bentley will sponsor the grand prize.

Six ITD employees served as judges for the competition that attracted 25 teams from 17 schools throughout Idaho and one from Montana.

Judges from the transportation department included Paul Steinman (representing Director Brian Ness), Nestor Fernandez, Bob Amoureux, Greg Laragan, Amy Schroeder and Sue Sullivan.

ITD’s Erika Bowen and Karissa Hardy served on the event’s steering committee. Transportation officials from ITD and the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council contributed to a special award. Donors included Bowen, Monica Crider, Fernandez, Michelle George, Hardy, Dan Harelson, Greg Laragan, Terry McAdams, Schroeder and Loren Thomas.

Winning project
Dynamis is a future city where health and happiness coincide. As a Medicinal Research Station, it creates conditions for nearly all-medicinal and experimental plants used along with virtual medicine to treat patients from the comfort of their own homes and to provide premier care to patients worldwide.

Their Future City followed the 2010-2011 Idaho Future City theme of “Providing a reliable and effective health care product that effectively improves the quality of life and comfort for a patient who is either a senior citizen or has a specific disease, or is suffering from an illness, injury or physical disability.”

The Future City of Dynamis also won special awards for the Best Essay/Abstract, Best Model and the People’s Choice Award.

Future City competition

The Idaho Future City program continues to grow, with teams participating this year from as far away as Blackfoot and Coeur d’Alene, as well as Kalispell, Mont.

“Without the support of more than 25 corporate, professional and technical organizations from the Idaho engineering community who volunteer their time and contribute financially this program would not be possible,” Bowen explains.

“With 25 Future City teams competing from 17 schools, hundreds of students are exposed to engineering for the very first time as a result of the program.”

Idaho Region runners up include:

Second place: Idaho Distance Education Academy from Boise. Future City name Kulapalekaiko. Students Jared Arias, Kayanna Turner, Bobby Seiker, and Abbie Welburn worked with teacher Patti Boliou and engineer mentor Matt Derr, P.E. winning the special award for the Best Sim City, Best Futuristic City and Best Medical System.

Third place: Sacred Heart from Boise. Future City Danitopa. Students Lily Burkey, Andrea Froehlke, Michael Gado and Jonathan Ripley worked with Teacher Carol Gado and Engineer Mentor Dan Gado, P.E. on their engineering design.

Fourth place: Les Bois Jr. High from Boise. Future City Neopolis was developed by students Madelyn Midgley, McKayla Midgley and Joseph Sudac along with help from teacher Cari Kerkman and Engineer Mentor Kim Sudac. The team also won the award for Best Future City Project Plan and Best Constructible Design.

Fifth place: Meridian Middle School from Meridian. Future City Expedition was created by students Julia Hobson, Chelsea Pluim, Lacy Sheridan and Cameron Williams along with teacher Krista Schwarz, and engineer mentor Jay Witt, P.E. Their team won the award for the Most Sustainable Use of Existing Resources.

More than 33,000 students from 1,000 middle schools in 35 regions across the country participate in the Future City regional competitions. Those who want to compete in next year’s competition should contact Lynn Olson, Idaho Regional Future City Coordinator, at (208) 921-3304 and lynnmolson@msn.com.

About the competition
Students create cities on computers using the SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software, provided by Electronic Arts. They build three-dimensional, tabletop models to scale. To ensure a level playing field, models must use recycled materials and can cost no more than $100 to build.

Students must present and defend their designs at the competition before a panel of engineer judges who test the depth of the teams’ knowledge. Students start with a research essay describing their concept.

They also are required to write a city narrative outlining the key features of their city. This year’s topic was “Providing a Reliable and Effective Health Care Product or System That Improves a Sick, Injured or Disabled Patient’s Quality of Life and Comfort.”

This year’s engineer judges for the finals at the Idaho Region included: Elaine Clegg, member of Boise City Council; Jim Kerns, deputy chief of Boise City Police Department; Paul Steinman, Idaho Transportation Department Chief Operations Officer; Dr. Kotaro Sasaki, Boise State University Mechanical Engineering professor; and Matthew Stoll, executive director of the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho.

About Engineers Week
The National Engineers Week Foundation, a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science.

Engineers Week also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineers' contributions to society. Founded in 1951, it is among the oldest of America's professional outreach efforts. Co-chairs for 2011 are Raytheon and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

For more information, visit www.eweek.org.

Published 1-28-2011