Pittsburgh, Sept. 18, 2015 – Carnegie Science Center is now accepting registrations for middle-school teams to compete in the 2015-16 Future City® Competition, a program of DiscoverE. Future City is a national, project-based learning experience challenging students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade to imagine, design, and build cities of the future. For the region comprising western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Carnegie Science Center manages the competition as a program of its Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development.
Each year, the competition asks the students to focus on a theme. This year’s theme, Waste Not, Want Not, encourages students to design waste management systems for residential use and small businesses by looking at issues such as collection, separation, processing, recycling, health and safety, energy efficiency, environmental impact, and cost. Students learn how today’s engineers and city planners deal with citywide sustainability issues like solid waste management. They research cutting-edge technologies, and imagine and design a plausible and futuristic solution that can exist for generations. Engineers around the world are focused on the four R’s of waste management (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot), in an effort to deal with solid waste not as trash, but as a resource.
Working in a team with an educator and engineer mentor, students present their waste management solutions and vision of their future city in a virtual city design (using SimCity™ software); a 1,500 word city description; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. The Pittsburgh regional teams will present their ideas before judges at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The winner will compete with winners of 36 other regional competitions at the National Finals in Washington, DC, in February. Major funding for the National Finals comes from Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, and Shell Oil Company.
“It’s always exciting to see how young kids envision the future, and it’s thrilling to see students’ commitment to making the world a better place,” said Lisa Kosick, who coordinates Carnegie Science Center’s regional competition. “Teachers always tell us that the students learn so much about teamwork and problem-solving, and they get so absorbed in their months-long projects. Students tell us they have a lot of fun! Future City is a fantastic way to introduce kids to some pretty sophisticated engineering concepts and to get them thinking about possible careers in engineering and other STEM fields.”
Last school year, more than 30 schools participated, and even more participants are anticipated for the upcoming competition.
Nationally, more than 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part each year in the Future City® Competition. The deadline for schools to register is Oct. 16, 2015. Schools may register today or learn more at www.futurecity.org. Students, teachers, and prospective volunteers are urged to visit the Facebook page for more information and updates on the Future City® Competition.
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.
About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie 120 years ago, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.3 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.
DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.