The Western Hills Team with their city model at the Future Cities Iowa Competition in Cedar Rapids

WDMCS Student Teams Design Future Cities

Two West Des Moines Community Schools student teams traveled to Cedar Rapids to participate in Iowa’s Future Cities competition on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2015. Future Cities is an engineering competition that challenges students to design a city of the future that addresses a particular concern. Urban agriculture was this year’s focus. Coach Gina Reinier, ELP teacher at Western Hills and Hillside elementaries, and Community Mentor Jeremy Reinier, P.E., helped students prepare for the competition.

Each team designed a city that produced a protein and a vegetable grown in quantities to feed the entire population. The Western Hills team worked on a city set in Thailand. They used pneumatic tubes and bicycle paths for transportation. The team chose crickets and mealworms as a protein and produced lentils as a vegetable.

The Hillside team revitalized a vineyard killed by pests. It was set in a city on the Italian coast. They raised chickens as a protein and carrots as a vegetable. This team won an award for the best land-surveying practices.

Students wrote an essay and a narrative, built a model of their cities, presented it to multiple judges, and worked on an online simulation. Through this opportunity, students learned about different engineering disciplines, the way services and needs are managed in a city, the importance of teamwork, and how to articulate their ideas.

Article and photos submitted by Kristine Milburn, WDMCS English teacher and K-12 ELP PD/Curriculum Facilitator. Not all team members were available for photos.