Future City has yet another successful year. This is the third consecutive year South Heart has won our region (North Dakota) and was invited to compete at the national level. Each year Future City sends out a theme or challenge the students must consider while building their futuristic city. This year’s theme was to build a city that was waste-free. The team chose to locate their city in England where present day Brighton is. The students renamed the city “Callista,” meaning most beautiful.

Our team of sixth through eighth grade students worked hard to research futuristic materials, ideas, and different elements to create new materials that have not been thought of yet. After countless hours of research and talking with parents, engineers, and teachers, the students began writing a 1,500-word essay to describe the city’s futuristic elements, highlights, attractions, and infrastructures. The team then designed and created their futuristic city to scale and stayed within a $100 budget. One obstacle while building the model was creating a moving part that would represent one of the power systems within the city. With little guidance, the students were able to use recycled Nerf gun parts, wires, a light switch, and batteries to power fans that symbolized tidal turbines. Two other deliverables the team had to create was a slideshow presentation showcasing the most important and futuristic elements of the city and a seven-minute video presenting the highlights of the city.

The team faced many challenges throughout this year, which included scheduling conflicts, disagreements in design ideas, and incorporating the engineering design process into their project. While students spent countless hours preparing for competition, they learned a great amount about being a team member, thinking like an engineer, writing professionally, and working through challenges. We are looking forward to Nationals on February 5 and 12 where three team members will participate in live question and answer judging. Unfortunately, due to COVID, nationals are virtual instead of in Washington, DC. Nonetheless, our team is still very excited about our accomplishments.

Our team is composed of a group of sixth through eighth graders. These students include Raylee Morast, Shayden Moe, Zach O’Brien, Kylie Wyman, Jesarae Shepherd, Jaymison Wilke, and last but certainly not least, Lee O’Brien, Asia Dutke, and Megan Robb. Lee, Asia, and Megan have been a part of Future City for all three years and helped the team advance to nationals each year. These three students will be missed greatly next year.

Future City Video Presenters: Lee O’Brien, Asia Dutke, and Shayden Moe

Live Question and Answer Presenters: Lee O’Brien, Zach O’Brien, and Shayden Moe