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Future City has a long, successful history in the Kutztown Area School District, and the 2013 competition was no exception. Students from the Kutztown Middle School travelled to Philadelphia on Jan. 26 for the Philadelphia Regional Future City Competition, a program of the National Engineers Week Foundation.
Students worked for months, first designing a virtual city with simCity4 software, then developing their own futuristic city, based on a present-day village in Guatemala. The virtual city, a narrative and an essay describing the city were submitted in the middle of December.
The students’ model of Lacustre Ciudad, meaning “lakeside city”, was constructed over a period of two and a half months. The team sought assistance from numerous agencies and individuals to develop a bank of knowledge from which to address this year’s theme – developing environmentally sound solutions to the problem of storm water run-off.
On competition day, the team’s student presenters, eighth graders Jarryd Kase and Jarrett Mohn, and seventh grader Nevie Gawlik, assumed the roles of adult professionals in Lacustre Ciudad and addressed a panel of judges, hoping to convince them of the fine qualities of life in their fair city. Their presentation must have been successfully carried out as the team was called back as one of only six schools chosen from the 42 competing to once again present to a new panel of judges in the final round of competition.
When the day ended, students from the Kutztown Middle School earned fourth place overall and a special award for Best Moving Part. Other student members of the Future City team who played important roles at various points along the process were Dominic Matrone, Dane Becker, Tom Velik, Michaela Ryan, Jacob Biltcliffe, Bennett Clymer, William Gow, Brady Tucker, Cassandra Friehauf, Porter Holt, Mikayla Reed and Madison Wolf. Team advisors were teachers Adam Berrigan and Rebecca Ziegler, and classroom aide, Jean Ziegler.