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Denair students take first place for their ‘future city’
Gratton Elementary future cities
Gratton Elementary School 7th and 8th graders will compete at the Future Cities Nationals competition in Washington, D.C. later this month after taking first place at the Northern California contest.

Gratton Elementary School 7th and 8th graders who competed in the Northern California Future Cities competition and won 1st place and will compete at Nationals in Washington, D.C. 

Educator Rexann Casteel’s team from Gratton School in Denair once again rose to the challenge and was selected as the NorCal Future City 1st Place Team. They also won five special awards at the competition which included Best Essay, Best Model, Best Communication System, Best Project Management and Best City Planning and Livability

The project team collectively spent more than 1,600 hours imagining, researching, designing and building their city of the future, Pearl City. The team includes three presenters: Hilary Tamis, Riley Rogers, Paul Wager and alternate Landen Elliott and students Ace Palecek, Jessie Williams, Sierra Woodall, Mary Chastain, Ben Boots, Max Holveck, Kaylee Batteate, Isabella Villarreal, Elianna Gomes, Landon Rock, James Mathiesen, Alex Popoff, Connor McCurdy, Matthew Burroughs and Charisma Everett-Reed. Peter Wagner was the team’s mentor.

Pearl City, a quadruple island system located in Manila, Philippines was constructed in 2032. The city quickly developed and within 100 years the city struggled with water scarcity due to pollution attributed to industrial dumping and from impoverished families that lived on the river’s edge, who lacked a proper location to dispose of their waste.

The students researched engineering careers that are required to ensure a thriving city with a resilient water system. Utilizing the knowledge gained, the students put together a team consisting of engineers with expertise in civil, hydrological, environmental, nanotech, genetic and water management to devise and implement a plan to clean-up the pollution and deliver a reliable supply of clean drinking water to the residents of Pearl City.

The team is still busy preparing to compete in the International Finals held on Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C.