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Future City: Parametrix Employee-Owners Serve as Judges for STEM Learning Program

Charles Guthrie, EIT | 1-18-2019

Future City is a project-based STEM learning program that allows students to design cities using advanced technology (real or not) to solve complex problems that we face today and then compete against other students. There are several regions in the US that make up about 40,000 participating middle school students. Each team is formed through a group at their school, and also has a professional mentor, usually with a background in engineering or architecture. This competition is a great way for the kids to reach that next level of creativity by solving complex problems without the structure of a classroom or standardized test.

I, along with several of my fellow employee-owners, had the honor of judging the Idaho Regional Future City competition last week. The winner of the Idaho Regional competition will go on to compete in the national competition next month in Washington D.C.

With over 30 teams to judge, we saw some very interesting and innovative designs. The types of problems that they are considering in design are very real threats to our cities. One of our drainage gurus was partial to the team handling drainage issues associated with tsunamis. ‘Yeetopolis’ won the Parametrix award for ‘Most Futuristic City’ with their plan to handle tsunami floods. Their design included pervious construction materials, with systems to capture the flood water, filter it, and store it for various uses… basically turning lemons into lemonade.

Future City is a project-based STEM learning program that allows students to design cities using advanced technology (real or not) to solve complex problems that we face today and then compete against other students. There are several regions in the US that make up about 40,000 participating middle school students. Each team is formed through a group at their school, and also has a professional mentor, usually with a background in engineering or architecture. This competition is a great way for the kids to reach that next level of creativity by solving complex problems without the structure of a classroom or standardized test.

I, along with several of my fellow employee-owners, had the honor of judging the Idaho Regional Future City competition last week. The winner of the Idaho Regional competition will go on to compete in the national competition next month in Washington D.C.

With over 30 teams to judge, we saw some very interesting and innovative designs. The types of problems that they are considering in design are very real threats to our cities. One of our drainage gurus was partial to the team handling drainage issues associated with tsunamis. ‘Yeetopolis’ won the Parametrix award for ‘Most Futuristic City’ with their plan to handle tsunami floods. Their design included pervious construction materials, with systems to capture the flood water, filter it, and store it for various uses… basically turning lemons into lemonade.

Yeetopolis

The winning team of students from Falcon Ridge Charter School in Kuna, ID with their Future City - 'Yeetopolis'

As a judge, it is fun to see these kids stepping out of their comfort zone. It is apparent that they spend a lot of time on these projects, and it is neat to see them proudly presenting their work. A special shout-out to our biggest motivator Harvin Flores, for putting the team together. Also thanks to the Parametrix Employee Owners for sponsoring the event, as well as this year’s volunteers, Dave Meldrum, Kenny Dodd, Brad Burkett and Brock Strand.