Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I had the pleasure last month of experiencing the imaginative power of some innovative students at the DC based 2015 National Future City Competition. The Future City Competition, a program produced by DiscoverE is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades, imagine, design and build future cities. 
Imagine being in a room full of kids consisting of 37 teams from the United States and
one from China each having built a city based upon this year's theme which was Feeding Future Cities. Students were asked to design a way to grow crops (one protein, one veggie), to feed the citizens of their futuristic city. I know right, you wouldn't think kids particularly would want to imagine anything having to do with proteins and veggies. Now french fries and nuggets, maybe. 
Who would've thought Kelp and Tilapia could sustain a city?
But these are clearly not your average kids and they were on a mission to show the judges what they could do. I mean it's a competition after all. I had my girls in tow, 9 and 10 and they were totally awed as we took in the displays. 
The designs were amazing
Lights! I'd live in Felici
Who knew Cricket flour had protein?
Texas team had one of my fave displays
I totally allowed my girls to take the reigns. The set-up was very interactive so my girls felt totally in their element amongst competing students and all participants were very welcoming and totally flattered when asked questions regarding the concept of their future city. There were lights, running water and futuristic designs my mind would likely never be capable of imagining much less designing.
My 9 yr. old inquiring about Korbinia. The teams were required to name their cities also.
Upon conclusion of this year's competition during which 40,000 students started out, there was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner as well as Honorable mentions. The competition definitely sparked the interest of my oldest who has previously participated in STEM and engineering workshops. An evaluation was conducted during last year's Future City Competition during which 65% of the participants said it helped see themselves as engineers someday and 90% said participating helped them to see all of the engineering that goes into building a city. 
My Mini-me's
I think my oldest had the same take-a-way. She was able to see up close and personal, her capabilities even now as a student. There's nothing like reinforcing the endless possibilities of our children's potential. "And there's a little bit of engineer in every girl." 
In conjunction with 2016 Girl Day, DiscoverE has launched #BringItOut. Visit http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/girl-day. And for more on #FutureCity2016, visit futurecity.org.  

Is there a little bit of Engineer in you or your daughter(s)?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DiscoverE. The opinions and text are all mine.