Morgan Fitzgerald Students Head to Washington for National Competition
The three made school history when they won a regional competition to create a model city of the future. Now, they will compete against schools from across the U.S.
PINELLAS PARK – For Ray Kwak, it was about ensuring that things were precise. Drew Hornyak searched for ways to reduce human error in a system and Elise Tong had a worldview of an environment where people could live long and happy lives.
For these three seventh graders from Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, 6410 118th Ave. in Pinellas Park, those thoughts resulted in a model city named Luminic where there are 25 parks and an essay to use, age-friendly transit system. Luminic derives from the words light and age.
The three students created a two-level model of the city and during last month’s Future City Regionals competition, described how the city and its systems worked to judges. As a result, they made school history by winning the Future City Regionals competition. This weekend, they will head to Washington, D.C. where they will compete in the national competition. At the regional competition, the team also won the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by all the participants in the regional competition.
“I am super proud of them and I was overwhelmed,” said Diana Wolf, a gifted studies teacher at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle and one of the team’s coaches. “As a teacher, you talk about student gains and it was remarkable to see how they learned from what they did wrong at the school competition, to make the corrections, and go on to win the regional competition. It’s remarkable.”
Future City is an engineering competition that poses a question to sixth, seventh and eighth-graders: How can you make the world a better place?
The students then imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include stormwater management, urban agriculture, public spaces, and green energy. This year’s topic is the Age-Friendly City. Teams identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and engineer two innovative solutions that allow their future city’s senior citizens to be as active and independent as they want to be.
Participates must complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at regional competitions in January.
Future City is a flexible, cross-curricular educational program that gives students an opportunity to do the things that engineers do—identify problems; brainstorm ideas; design solutions; test, retest and build, and share their results. This process is called the engineering design process. With this at its center, Future City is an engaging way to build students’ 21st Century skills.
Photo courtesy of the Pinellas County School System.
Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School | Education | Future City Competition | Tampabay News
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