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Practice competition prepares young engineers for the future
future city pic1
Last year Walnut Elementary students Dion Skaria, Edward Yaco, and Marcus Hawley won second place for their future city at the Northern California Regional Future City Competition. - photo by Journal file photo

For young engineering enthusiasts who cannot wait for the North California Regional State Finals Future City Competition next weekend, the Stanislaus County Office of Education is hosting its fourth annual Future City Practice Competition on Saturday.

“This is geared towards helping our local teams prepare for the regional competition the following Saturday,” said event coordinator Cheryl Goulart. “We format the practice event just like it would be at regional.”

Devised for students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, Future City is a national competition where teams imagine, design, and build cities of the future under the guidance of teachers and engineer mentors.

According to Goulart, Stanislaus County’s practice session is set up to effectively prepare students for the regional competition next weekend and ultimately the national competition in February.

During Saturday’s event, participating teams will undergo an initial round of competition, where engineers and past Future City participants will judge each teams’ scale model of a future city.

Concurrently with the first round of competition, city models will also be on display in the foyer where judges will make their decisions for the 2015 Special Awards.

For these awards, there are five different categories: excellence in design of sustainable food production system, excellence in design of innovative design of infrastructure systems, excellence in residential zone, excellence in management of water resources, and excellence in communications system.

After the first round of the competition, the top three models will be selected to move on to a final round of judging. Unlike the first round, the final round is open to the public.

“This practice competition gives teams a wonderful opportunity to receive feedback,” said Goulart. “After this, they have a week to go back to school and make any adjustments on their models. This is a practice session where they can speak in front of judges and prepare. It has always been beneficial.”

Since this is only a practice session, judges will only grade scale models during Saturday’s competition. Goulart reported that students do a number of activities for the actual competition that will not be judged, including the creation of a virtual city using SimCity software, an essay, and a city narrative.

The Stanislaus County Future City Practice Competition will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. The final round of the competition, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m.

The Northern California Regional State Finals Future City Competition will be on Jan. 24 at California State University, Stanislaus. The winning team of the Regional State Finals will advance to the National Finals in Washington D.C. in February.