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For the third consecutive year, several Texas APA planners from the Midwest and North Central Sections participated with the National Engineers Week Future City Competition. The Future City Completion is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at a regional competition.  The Dallas-Fort Worth region held its regional competition on Saturday, January 23rd at the University of Texas at Arlington with nearly 60 teams competiting.

Texas APA planners participated by becoming team mentors for the schools and judging the competition. The Midwest and North Central Sections co-sponsored the Livable Communities Award which was presented to Team Slushville from Pioneer Heritage Middle School in Frisco. The team’s future city took a holistic approach to building a sustainability community. These young students went beyond the simple problem solving challenge for their city and put together a sustainability community through transportation, energy systems, community services, and recreational facilities. During the competition, the team was quoted: “a healthy city is a happy city. People want to live in happy cities.”

Four Texas APA planners played an important role in this year’s competition. Special Awards judges included Jeremy Williams, Bicycle and Transportation Planner at North Central Texas Council of Governments, and Laura Evans, Planner for the City of Dallas. Tamara Cook, Manager of Environment and Development Programs at North Central Texas Council of Governments served on the Final Judging Panel that awarded the winning team a trip to Washington DC to compete in the national Future City competition. Doug McDonald, Comprehensive Planning Manager at the City of Plano, served as a mentor for 10 teams competing from Pioneer Heritage Middle School in Frisco.

For more information about the Future Cities Competition, please visit: http://futurecity.org/

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Pioneer Heritage Middle School "Gotham City" Presentation

 

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Texas APA's Midwest and North Central Sections Award Pioneer Heritage Middle School "Slushville" the Livable Communities Award. Team Slushville advanced to the finals and placed among the top six teams. Nearly 60 teams competed this year.

 

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Pioneer Heritage Middle School "Mishaven City" presentation.