Middle school students create future cities for international competition

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Metro middle school students got to put their creative ingenuity to use Monday at the Discover E Future City competition.

"This is our mulcher where we take our trash. Then we take this and place it in the planting soil we sell at the stores,” sixth-grader at Sequoyah Middle School Colin Olson said.

"Most of the things here are recycled,” Rossi Petrova, 6th-grade student at Sequoyah Middle School said.

These are what come in future cities of the world according to middle school students around the metro.

"This is our industrial area along with this. This is where we grow our food,” Mary Branch, eighth-grader at Perkins Tryon Middle School said.

Discover E Future City competition challenges teams to create a model of what the future might look like and bring a solution to an issue. This year's theme is "clean water."

"They're looking to make sure the water supply is clean and that it's protected,” Todd Hiemer Regional Coordinator of Future City said.

Like the team from Perkins-Tryon Middle School.

"Our domed roofs help run the rainwater off and into an extensive guttering system,” Branch said.

The program started more than 20 years ago in OKC with creativity at its core.

"Back then, the nationals had a clip that they were going to cryogenically freeze people and bring them back. I've seen all kinds of things like finger phones and ear bone phones,” Hiemer said.

The students are judged on design, an essay, a presentation, and a project plan. Each team is paired with a teacher and mentor for the project.

Many of these students have been working since the beginning of the school year on their future city. All with the hope to take their project to Washington D.C.

"It would mean a lot because our teacher- she's come so close in the past and it would just mean a lot to her if we got the chance to win,” Branch said.

It’s giving future engineers of America a head start.

"Future City really opens these ideas of engineering and STEM and these kind of degree paths for these kids and it's a valuable lesson for them,” Hiemer said.

The winner will be announced at the Oklahoma City Blue basketball game on Thursday night.

For more information on the Future City Competition visit https://futurecity.org/.

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