Area students claim Future City honors

by Jeanne Warwick
March 17, 2020 1:00 AM

Recently a group of North Idaho students competed at an engineering and design contest called Future City at Boise State University. These students came from Northside Elementary, Sandpoint Middle School, and Selle Valley Carden School. The students made up two teams and represented the counties north of Riggins.

The teams started the project by researching threats to a city’s freshwater drinking supply. The learned about technology currently being used to keep the supply sustainable and they researched advanced techniques that are currently being explored for use in the future. After completing the research, each team had to design a virtual city using Sim City software for the Future City program. Then the students had to write a 1,500-word essay describing their freshwater drinking water systems. After submitting the essay the teams had to build a scale model of select parts of their city. Each team chose to represent a city between 15,000 and 25,000 people, which is considered a small city in the Future City competition. Finally, the teams prepared a presentation to explain their cities to a distinct panel of judges at Boise State University.

The teams traveled to Boise with their city models and presented their skits to the judges. There were 37 teams total at the competition representing home school groups, private school groups, and public school groups. We were the only teams there representing all three of those school types. A large majority of the teams represented consisted of mostly seventh and eighth grade students. Our teams were mostly sixth grade students and one seventh grade student. After four straight hours of presenting and answering questions, the teams had a lunch break and then the awards ceremony began.

A total of 30 awards were handed out during the awards ceremony, which meant some teams would not receive an award because there were 37 teams present. The awards categories were varied from waste water treatment plans, to transportation, to air pollution, basically anything a city planner or engineer would need to think about to keep a city running smoothly.

Team Aqualantis made up of Hunter Warwick, Taylor Ailport, Dakota Rief, and Taylor Burrows won the award for water design system that demonstrates potential for use in underdeveloped countries. This award was given to team Aqualantis for their outstanding water system design on their city model. They used graphene oxide sieves to filter the water that was polluting the clean drinking water. They also included a hydrogen peroxide cleaning system that cleaned the water and then went through a process of reverse osmosis using ultraviolet rays.

Team Cascadia had team members Paige Rief, Colter Cates, and Hunter Burrows. They were awarded the awards for most innovative stormwater/wastewater treatment and reuse and the award for best presentation. This team created the city of Cascadia, which reused their storm water and drinking in a creative way. They researched and designed photovoltaic cells that were large enough to transform salt water into clean drinking water. Their solar panels floated in the water and had enough backup batteries to provide water for the city for 30 days. The team’s presentation was set back in time in the year 1870 where a young lady falls asleep reading a book about the future. Two people come and talk to her about the cities of the future in her dream and she wakes up with a new vigor for cities of the future.

Prior to the competition each team was treated to a private tour of the Capitol building by our state legislators Rep. Heather Scott, Rep. Sage Dixon, and Sen. Jim Woodward, who gave the students a backstage look at the building.

The teams would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our local legislators who took time out of their day writing and revising laws to give these young people a grand tour of the Capitol.

Each student was able to travel to Boise to compete in this competition thanks to some local and state level grants and donations. iSTEM and Future City provided grant money for the team’s travel expenses. Century West, Glahe & Associates, and Ruen Yeager all provided monetary donations to help get the teams to Boise and back. Thank you to all of these businesses and grant sponsors.

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Team Cascadia team members Paige Rief, Colter Cates, and Hunter Burrows pose with Jeanne Warwick from Northside School, who lead a group of Bonner County students at the recent Future City competition at Boise State University.

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Team Aqualantis made up of Hunter Warwick, Taylor Ailport, Dakota Rief, and Taylor Burrows won the award for water design system that demonstrates potential for use in underdeveloped countries. They are pictured with Northside teacher Jeanne Warwick.

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Bonner County Future City students pose with District 1 legislators during a tour of the Capitol building.

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Team Aqualantis made up of Hunter Warwick, Taylor Ailport, Dakota Rief, and Taylor Burrows won the award for water design system that demonstrates potential for use in underdeveloped countries. They are pictured with Northside teacher Jeanne Warwick.