PHILADELPHIA’S OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS SCHOOL
WINS GRAND PRIZE AT 2011 NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK
FUTURE CITY COMPETITION®
Winners Earn Trip to Space Camp,
Courtesy of Bentley Systems
WASHINGTON, February 22, 2011 – A city of the future- Ville L’espoir – engineered by students from Our Lady Help of Christians School, in Abington, PA (Philadelphia region) has won the grand prize at the 2011 National Engineers Week Future City® Competition. The students – Elizabeth DeMarshall, 13, Alexandra Ryan, 14 and Matthew Wilkinson, 14, - teamed up with their teacher Jane H. Ring and volunteer mentor, Michael T. DiCamillo, an engineer with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia, PA, to create a city focused on helping people with Type II Diabetes.
Teams from 35 middle schools nationwide, winners of regional competitions in January, participated in the Future City National Finals, February 18-22 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The grand prize winners receive a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, provided by National Finals host Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for the infrastructure that sustains our world. Bentley also is providing a 10-seat academic suite of engineering software for each school of the top three teams. Shell is also a national sponsor for the competition.
Second place went to the team from Valley Middle School in Oakland, New Jersey for their Future City, which they titled Eleebana Wahan. The team is comprised of students: Sidney Anderson, 14, Benjamin Clauss, 14 and Jeevan Jeyabalan 13, teacher Judith Vihonski and mentor Robert Akovity of Integrated Building Controls in Dayton, NJ. Valley Middle School receives a $5,000 scholarship for its technology program, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
Davidson IB Middle School in Davidson, North Carolina took third place honors for their Future City Seiki. The team is comprised of Nicholas Macri,13 and Emma Boraks 13, Sharad Wertheimer 13, teacher Jay D. Hager and mentor Dane Horna of S&ME Incorporated in Charlotte, NC. Davidson Middle School receives a $2,000 scholarship for that school’s technology program, sponsored by IEEE-USA. Honorable mentions went to Mohave Middle School in Scottsdale, Arizona (Fourth Place) and to St. John Lutheran in Rochester, Michigan (Fifth Place).
“We did it!” was the immediate reaction of Matthew Wilkinson, from the grand prize winning team. “Before the competition, when I heard the word engineer, the first thing I thought of was train engineer. After Future City, I realize now how all the infrastructure in a city is done by people working together. I learned to be a part of that. Future City will change how I proceed in life with my career choice and how I think about how people work in teams together.”
“I’ve been doing this 15 years and it gets more exciting – and competitive - every year,” said winning teacher Jane Ring.. “To win this year is a tremendous and gratifying experience.”
“I am always amazed at the ability of these young students to grasp adult concepts and to turn them around them the way they do,” added winning mentor Michael DiCamillo. “This is a great professional experience and one that I would recommend to any and all of my colleagues.”
Since last fall, more than 33,000 students from 1,000 middle schools in 35 regions across the country have participated in the 19th Annual National Engineers Week Future City® Competition. In January, each region held qualifying competitions to select the team to represent it in the Future City Competition National Finals.
Sponsored by the nation’s professional engineering community, Future City, one of the nation’s largest engineering education programs and among the most popular, aims to stir interest in science, technology, engineering and math among young people. Students must conduct research for an essay on a pressing social need. This year’s theme, “Providing a Reliable and Effective Health Care Product or System That Improves a Sick, Injured or Disabled Patient’s Quality of Life and Comfort” asks students to envision the medical centers, clinics and hospitals of the future. Students will also propose, design and develop the supporting infrastructure – both virtual and physical – that would be integral to those facilities. They will detail the development of systems to support diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and rehabilitation and they will adhere to strict technical and ethical standards.
Students work in teams under the guidance of a teacher and a volunteer engineer mentor to design and build a city of tomorrow. They create cities on computers using the SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software and then build three-dimensional, tabletop models to scale. To ensure a level playing field, models must use recycled materials and can cost no more than $100 to build. Students also write brief narratives describing their city and must present and defend their designs at the competition before a panel of engineer judges who test the depth of the teams’ knowledge. This year, for the first time, sixth graders were invited to join seventh and eighth grade students in the competition.
For more information on the Future City Competition, visit www.futurecity.org.
About Future City Competition
The 19th Annual Future City Competition, for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, is held from September, 2010 through February, 2011. The National Future City Competition is sponsored in part by National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations. Major funding comes from Bentley Systems, Incorporated and Shell.
About Engineers Week
The National Engineers Week Foundation, a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. Engineers Week also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineers' contributions to society. Founded in 1951, it is among the oldest of America's professional outreach efforts. Co-chairs for 2011 are Raytheon and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
For more information, visit www.eweek.org.
In addition to the winning teams, 20 Special Awards, sponsored by numerous engineering societies and organizations, were presented at a ceremony later in the afternoon.
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