On January 16 hundreds of middle school students gathered at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center to compete in the Wisconsin Regional Future City competition which was sponsored in part by our company.

Future City asks middle-school students to imagine, design, and build cities of the future. After four months of designing a virtual city (using SimCity), researching, designing, and writing up their solution to a city-wide issue and building a scale model of their city, teams will present their vision to a panel of judges. The teams consist of three students, a teacher and a volunteer engineer mentor. This year’s theme was “Waste Not Want Not”, challenging students to design a city of the future that addressed waste management systems. Students considered issues such as collection, recycling, health and safety and environment impact.

We have been a long time sponsor of the competition. “The Future City competition encourages middle school students to explore the many different types of engineers that contribute to a successful society. It’s a great introduction to the field of engineering and it encourages creative and thoughtful solutions to today’s challenges and those of the future” commented Cathy Stagmer, Manager-Global Community Relations. Adding, “Having served as a judge for several years, it has been fun to see some of their futuristic concepts actually become a reality in our everyday lives. A few years ago students were inventing ways to track your heart rate and alert you if something was wrong, today we have access to fitness trackers and watches that will do just that.”

In addition to sponsoring the competition several employees volunteered their time as mentors and judges. This included John McCarthy who mentored two teams from Nativity Jesuit Academy along with Chuck Payne, Norm Kopp and Robin Pisarek who served as judges.