Written By: Joanna Opeana
How can we make the world a better place? This is the real-world question that 6th, 7th and 8th graders from across the nation answers each year when they participate in the Future City Competition, a national program that is intended to foster an interest in math, science, and engineering through hands-on, real-world applications. This past January 21st, the Southern Nevada Region held their 17th Anniversary Future City Competition and a few Las Vegas YMF members were there to lend a helping hand with running logistics, assisting the students with moving their models into judging rooms, and judging.
This year’s challenge, The Power of Public Space, asked the students to design an innovative citywide system of public spaces which includes open fields, existing parks, former industrial areas, abandoned buildings, and of course streets and sidewalks. And boy, did the kids deliver! Over 150 students and 20 teams presented their revolutionary and futuristic ideas at the competition which was held at the magnet high school, Northwest Career and Technical Academy. The panel of judges were so wildly impressed by the essays, models, and presentations given by the participating teams, that it was a very close competition. One team was so creative that they prepared a jingle to summarize their city’s amenities. Of course, the Future City competition would not be true to its name if it didn’t include the requirement for the model to consists of at least 90% recycled material. Who would have thought that mascara application tips would be make great trees and shrubbery or that nasal aspirators (aka bulb syringes) can represent a hospital? The future is bright and the skies the limit for these brilliant young minds!
Las Vegas YMF is very excited for the next generation of engineers and is proud to support educational programs like the Future City Competition that are focused on improving STEM.