Statement issued Monday:
Fort Wayne, IN-December 27, 2010 – Can America’s middle schoolers do a better job of tackling our nation’s health care crisis than the politicians? Since the start of the school year, kids from across Indiana have been working hard on their Future City projects as they address this year’s theme: “Providing a Reliable and Effective Health Care Product or System That Improves a Sick, Injured or Disabled Patient’s Quality of Life and Comfort.” Now the moment of truth draws near as the 10th anniversary of the Indiana Regional is set to unfold on January 15, 2011 at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).
Nationally, 35 regions from around the country will participate in the 2011 Future City competition. First-place winners from each qualifying regional competition earn a berth in the national finals in Washington, D.C., set to take place during National Engineers Week, February 18-22, 2011. The national finals grand prize is a visit to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, provided by national finals host Bentley Systems, Incorporated. The second place team receives $5,000 from the National Society of Professional Engineers and third place wins $2,000 from IEEE-USA for their schools’ technology programs. At the Indiana Regional Competition the Final Awards Sponsor, Indiana Michigan Power, provides gifts cards and medals to regional finalists and participation gifts to each team member. IPFW offers two teachers guiding the top two teams to first and second place, an IPFW Education Award to take a free class.
“It’s that exciting time of year again when middle school students from across the country are putting the finishing touches on their work in hopes of reaching the national finals,” said Leslie Collins, Executive Director, National Engineers Week Foundation. “They’re eager to present their models and ideas, everything they’ve been working on over these months.”
Engineers have long played a vital role in improving the quality of healthcare by conceptualizing, innovating, and implementing ground-breaking infrastructure, delivery systems, technologies, devices and products. Since the fall, middle schoolers participating in National Engineers Week Foundation’s 2010-11 Future City® Competition have been designing innovative, forward looking cities that seek to provide reliable health care that improves a patient’s quality of life. Students will explore options for the practice of both virtual and on-site medicine, addressing how to treat a specific category of patient with a specific medical condition.
Each year, Future City presents themes that highlight a current issue and asks kids to investigate and come up with solutions. Students start with a research essay describing their concept. In the fall, IPFW held a student help session to aid teams in their research on medical products and healthcare. Panelists were from Medtronics (Warsaw) and Parkview Hospital (Fort Wayne). The session has been played numerous times on College Access TV and available to teams statewide on the CATV website. Teams are also required to write a City Narrative outlining the key features of their city.
Participating students will use SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software to design a virtual Future City 3D map incorporating their ideas. Then they will build a physical model using recycled materials which can cost no more than $100 to build. The culmination of the project is a team presentation at the regional competition. Throughout the project, teams are guided by a teacher and a mentor. According to IPFW College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science Outreach Director Carol Dostal, “The teachers and mentors should all be applauded for their dedicated semester long support of their teams.”
The 2010-11 Future City Competition attracts more than 33,000 students from 1,000 middle schools in regions located across the country. The annual challenge has received national attention and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers nationwide to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through hands-on applications, Future City participants discover how engineering is both accessible and can make a difference in the world. This year, for the first time, sixth graders are invited to join seventh and eighth grade students in the competition. The 2010-11 challenge should attract even more attention than usual, as students will tackle critical issues that our national leaders are grappling with as well.
For more information on judging or mentoring in the Future City Competition, visit www.futurecity.org, www.etcs.ipfw.edu/fcc or contact Carol Dostal at email@example.com or 260-481-6905.
About Future City Competition
The 19th Annual Future City Competition, for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, is held from September, 2010 through February, 2011. The National Future City Competition is sponsored in part by National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations. Major funding comes from Bentley Systems, Incorporated and Shell.
About Engineers Week
The National Engineers Week Foundation, a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. Engineers Week also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineers’ contributions to society. Founded in 1951, it is among the oldest of America’s professional outreach efforts. Co-chairs for 2011 are Raytheon and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
For more information, visit www.eweek.org.