Over 100 California schools, 12 of which represented the Stanislaus County, made their way to San Jose to compete in the Northern California Regional Future City Competition where Turlock school Walnut Elementary took second place.
The Future City Competition is a national project-based learning experience that requires students to simulate a city using SimCity 4 Deluxe software, research solutions to real life engineering problems, create a scale model of a future city and present it before judges. The cities must involve engineering principles and implementable design techniques in the real world.
“It’s so exciting that of all the teams participating from Northern California, first and second place went to teams from Stanislaus County,” Cheryl Goulart, event coordinator for the county-wide competition said.
Walnut was surpassed by the Girls Scout Troop #2225, comprised of 7th and 8th grade students from the Stanislaus Union School District and Big Valley Christian School, who took first place.
Walnut Elementary School’s city is named Bymum and was created by the sixth grade students overseen by Walnut teacher Jamie Garner and mentored by Mike Pitcock and Raul Raya. The city features a public transportation system with a humanistic approach that will not impact citizens with pacemakers because of electrical rewiring and also contains a vertical garden to preserve land space while still increasing the amount of food produced. While only the first place team will continue on to the national championship making this the end of the road for Walnut, the school improved from their highest Northern California Region ranking of 4th place to 2nd.
“Although it was hard for the students to be so close yet so far at second place, I know that they are very proud of themselves. I hope that as the programs at Turlock Junior High School and Dutcher continue to grow, these students bring with them what they’ve learned and continue to grow themselves,” said Walnut teacher and Coach Jamie Garner.