Westview Middle School’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics School (STEMS) had a successful first-time experience at the 10th annual Future City competition held on January 26th at USC Aiken. It was an exciting weekend for STEMS students as they competed against middle school students from across the state in the regional competition.
Several 7th grade students returned home with a variety of awards from the competition. These award winners included:
Meredith Duncan, Molly McDermott, and Anna Gayle Thomason: Best Engineering Design
Jacob Woods & Kaminer Cromer: Rookie Team Award
Will Godwin, Chase Beale, and Ryne Tucker: Participation Award
Five STEMS teams, comprised of three students each, qualified for the regional after a school-wide competition, but only three teams actually competed in Aiken. Students were challenged with developing futuristic cities initially on computers using gaming software, and then on a large table top model with a budget of less than $100. Recyclable items were also used with the table models to illustrate city buildings or structures. Students were also tasked with writing an essay that described how their design would solve an important need. At the regional competition in Aiken, students presented their ideas to judges.
“We had to make our design on a board that was about 50 inches wide and 20 inches tall,” explained Jacob Woods. “Our project dealt on how to solve run-off.”
“We could only use recyclable materials that were collected or donated,” said Chase Beale. “Our goal next year is to spend more time on the board and gaming software.”
“We all worked on the project together”, said Molly McDermott. “Each person had their own part or job to the project.”
Aside from the tremendous teamwork students displayed, STEMS Instructor Rob McMahon was impressed by the response all three teams received at the competition.
“The kids did an awesome job on Saturday,” McMahon stated. “Many of the students received great comments from the judges and they were very impressed.”
The initial success at this year’s competition already has students eagerly anticipating new ideas and strategies for next year.
“We know we can do better and we know what the expectations are,” Meredith Duncan said.
With a clear understanding of what Future City is all about, every team is eyeing first place at next year’s competition.