Practical application of science and math to daily life: buildings, planning, and machines.

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20130319-181309.jpgHundreds of students competed at MSOE on January 12 in the Wisconsin region Future Cities engineering competition.
The winner will go to Crystal City, Virginia and compete with 35 other teams, said Kelly Wesolowski, regional coördinator of Future City in Wisconsin. The competition will be on February 16-20, she said.
Wesolowski said that in 2012 the Wisconsin regional team won nationals. This year’s regional winner was St. Alphonsus, with a city called Nani Moku. Over 50 teams competed in Wisconsin.
Students had to create many items for their city, said David Kabara, a mentor for the Waukesha Catholic team. He has mentored for 4 years, and 3 grades.
“Future Cities is a program to allow students to gain further knowledge of engineering,” he said. ”It opens up the door to engineering for a field [that is] growing fast.”
Students were required to design a SimCity computer model, write an essay and narrative, and build a model out of recycled materials, Kabara says.
“It opens up creativity in a non-pressure system,” he says. Participants are given only $100 dollars to spend on their model, and are encouraged to use recycled materials. The model must include a moving part.
Moving parts have been things such as vehicles, water, and mass transit. Weslowski says, “one of the coolest things I have seen was [a team that used] little beads that went through a tube and they used canned air to move the beads along.”
The hardest part is getting students to agree, Kabara says, students learn coöperation skills as well as engineering.
Some students on Kabara’s team were 7th graders Nathan Dejeski, Patrick Burell, Zach Nelton, and Lance Berg. They were asked about what Future City is to them.
Dejeski said, “being with my friends and creating a city in the future.” Burell said, “Building things with [my] imagination.” Nelton said, “A chance to be in control of a whole city. Berg said, “Talking about everything, and [in] the last week building.”