Mike Mayer, Deputy Director of Civil Engineering at Mason & Hanger, served as a judge at the recent 2017 Regional Future City Competition held in Oldham County, KY. The project-based learning program steers students to imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue.
“The competition keeps growing year after year. It’s great seeing some of the same students each year, and how they have developed into better future engineers. It’s exciting to be part of such a great program,” adds Mayer.
Students are given a problem, and they must use the engineering design process to create a solution. Students use SimCity to build a virtual city, write an essay describing its attributes, create a scale model using recycled materials, and give a presentation to a panel of judges. Mike served as a judge this year for the virtual cities, essays and models. He previously served as a judge for presentations.
This year’s theme was ‘The Power of Public Spaces.’ Past themes included ‘Feeding Future Cities’ and ‘Waste Not, Want Not.’ The competition introduces students to engineering and shows them how to use different disciplines to solve problems. Mentors from the local architecture and engineering community help with the projects. Regional winners go on to a national competition where prizes range from winning a trip to Space Camp to cash awards from groups such as the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
The local chapter of the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) also sponsored the competition. More than 60 local university professors, project managers, and professional engineers from local firms and the USACE Louisville District office served as judges.
Future City provides an authentic STEM experience for middle school students around the country. This specific event, held January 16, drew 6th, 7th and 8th graders from all over the state. Over 70 teams, including many from Lexington, participated in the 25th Anniversary of the Future City Competition. Overall, more than 40,000 students compete annually throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Over 70 teams competed at the event.
Mike Mayer, Deputy Director of Civil Engineering