Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Middle School Students Map out Future ; Competition Brings Mitigate out of the Woodwork

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Middle School Students Map out Future ; Competition Brings Mitigate out of the Woodwork

Article excerpt

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - In the city of Mitigate, farming on terraces outside downtown and green roofs that grow water hyacinth, watercress and papyrus help eliminate stormwater runoff. A maglev monorail connects residential, commercial and industrial centers, and children ride it to and from school. Solar panels on buildings create energy, and residents drink water collected from the environment - nano-purified and vitamin-fortified to keep them healthy.

If it all sounds too good to be true - well, actually, it is.

The city of Mitigate exists only in the minds of Kristen Reed, Alexandria Short, Samuel Daughterty, Chazz Bruce and McKenzie Haneline and in a scale model the five eighth-graders from Riverview Middle School in Huntington brought to Saturday's Future City Competition at IPFW's Walb Student Union.

For the last decade, the annual event has been encouraging budding engineers and scientists to stretch their imaginations and peer into the world in which we might someday live, said Carol Dostal, the competition's Indiana regional coordinator.

Saturday, she told The Journal Gazette, was the culmination of a semester's worth of work, with students planning, designing, mapping and building a model of their ideal city of the future.

The model had to use recycled materials, and students had to provide an essay on how they approached a specific urban problem - this year, managing stormwater runoff. They then presented their work to judges, professionals in the field, and answered their questions.

"They have to think about things like zoning and infrastructure, which is something most middle-school kids don't think about," Distal said. "It's how creative can they be."

Twenty-four teams competed, with the winning team - from Woodside Middle School - going on to the national competition in Washington, D. C., that takes place Feb. 17-23.

Blackhawk Middle School's Cantabrica took second place, and third place went to the future city La Cima del Mundo, which means "top of the world," from the Westfield Middle School team in Hamilton County. …

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