Students Designing Cities of the Future

Six Ohio County eighth-graders will be competing in Pittsburgh today during the regional finals of the National Engineers Week Foundation’s Future City competition.

The students, from Wheeling Middle and Bridge Street Middle in Ohio County, will present a plan with how best to deal with water runoff following extreme storms.

Since September, Wheeling Middle eighth-grade students Allee McCardle, Adam Craig and Allison Spears and Bridge Street eighth-graders Matthew Vargo, Luke Knollinger and Shayla McFarland have been working for their respective teams to come up with the winning model. They will present their work today at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Music Hall.

This is the 20th year for the Future City competition. Each year, Future City presents themes that highlight a current issue and asks youth to investigate and come up with solutions. Students start with a research essay describing their concept.

They are required to write a City Narrative outlining the key features of their city. This year, students have been asked to address the theme: “Rethink Runoff: Design Clean Solutions to Manage Stormwater Pollution.”

The objective is to design a method of dealing with storm water runoff for a future city. As they devise solutions, students consider the safety, cost, efficiency and appearance of their ideas.

Nationally, 37 regions from around the country are holding similar competitions.

First-place winners from each qualifying regional competition earn a berth in the national finals in Washington, D.C., set to take place during National Engineers Week, Feb. 17-23. The national finals grand prize is a visit to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.