Waukee City Planner Mentors Future City Teens in Regional Competition

Future City is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)-based, national competition for middle schoolers. Waukee City Planner II Melissa DeBoer mentors the 7th-grade team from South Middle School; the students’ teacher is Karlee McKibban. This is the second year DeBoer and McKibban’s class have teamed up. DeBoer utilizes her experience in city development to lead the team on this interactive, four-month endeavor.

This year the students were asked to create a city they envision 100 years into the future with the theme focusing on designing a resilient power grid which can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster. The competition included writing an essay to describe the city, designing a virtual city using SimCity and building a scaled model of the city.

Four 7th-grade students made up the Future City team: Luke Hayes, Mickey Hatch, Xavier DeMarco and Muhammed Marhocevic. The team concentrated on building a city which could withstand flooding. The students presented their city to judges at the Future City Iowa Regional Competition in Cedar Rapids, on Saturday, Jan. 26. The team’s project received positive responses from judges. The team from Cedar Rapids won the competition and represented Iowa in the Future City Nationals in Washington, D.C. on February 19.

Future City uses the engineering design process as a framework to guide students through the creation of their cities. Within this framework, students apply specific project management methods to keep their projects on track. This structure gives students a real-world learning experience they can apply to future challenges in school, work and life.