Published March 6, 2008
Joel Anderson, Elliott Brewer and Reed Scott represented the Roswell school and comprised one of 37 teams throughout the country that made it past the regional competition to the national stage.
The 16th annual Future City Competition invites middle school students to design a city of the future using a video game, SimCity 3000, and then build a scaled tabletop model of a section of their futuristic community. Also part of the contest was a 500- to 700-word essay describing the various components of their creation.
The 12-year-old boys, working with their teacher Peggy DeGance and engineer-mentor Catherine Anderson, the mother of Joel Anderson, created the city of Makt Stad, which is Swedish for “power city.” The students worked diligently for nearly six months on the project, paying close attention to problems many face here in Georgia, with traffic congestion and drought at the top of the list.
Highlights of Makt Stad included hydrogen cars, underground highways, holographic phones, rainwater collectors and a hilltop lake to store a backup water supply. Perhaps the most interesting component of the virtual city is its power source. The students designed power generators positioned along the streets that produce voltage when depressed by various vehicles or pedestrians. The electricity produced by these generators feeds into the city’s power grid.
A required abstract describes other aspects of daily life in Makt Stad: “Our citizens live in individual homes which are programmed with the Master Automated Intelligent Device (MAID). MAID administers to human needs and controls all household chores such as scheduling, lighting, media, appliances, cleaning, HVAC, health monitoring, and food inventory. It alerts the owners when daily mail arrives through tubes from the Post Office straight into the buildings. All waste is sent underground directly from the home or business to different plants, sorted by machines, and processed. We have two main methods of recycling; waste-to-energy and reuse of materials. All garbage is recycled, converted into energy, or reused. Makt Stad has no landfills.”
The Queen of Angels team presented their concept in front of a panel of engineers on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Washington, D.C.
In addition to winning the Georgia regional contest and placing fifth in the national competition, the team also won the top awards for best essay, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and best representation of manufacturer supply chains. This year’s essay asked students to describe how nanotechnology will monitor their city’s structures and systems to keep its infrastructure healthy.
Some 30,000 students from more than 1,100 schools, including public, private, parochial and home schools, participated in the competition. Future City is sponsored in part by the National Engineers Week Foundation, a coalition of more than 75 engineering, professional and technical societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies.