The 2013-14 Future City Competition asked students from around the country to tackle tomorrow’s transportation needs by designing ways to move people in and around their city. Student competitors were placed in real world situations and became problem solvers as they brainstormed ideas and design solutions.

Students from various grade levels at Nautilus Middle competed in the Future City Competition, sponsored locally by Florida International University (FIU). Using SimCity, an engineering software, students first designed a virtual city, conducted research and wrote up their findings. Throughout the process eighth grade team leaders mentored younger students who will follow in their footsteps at future competitions. Next students collaborate to build a tabletop size model of their future city using recycled materials and costing no more than $100. Students envisioned a city 150 years into the future, incorporating design elements regarding transportation and water conservation and quality.

Nautilus PupilsIn January the students presented their future city to a panel of judges at the Regional Competition, held in conjunction with National Engineers Week at FIU. Nautilus students won awards for “Best Integration of Historic & Cultural Resources in a Future City” and “Best Efficient Energy Design in a Future City.”

Thirty-seven teams including Nautilus Middle went on to compete at nationals in Washington D.C. in mid-February. Over a period of four days teams fiercely competed for the grand prize, a trip to the U.S. Space Camp and $7500 for their school. While Nautilus was not the top prize winner the students accomplished a great deal and have much to be proud of