On January 19, CH2M HILL mentors joined 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from Columbia Secondary School (CSS) – a math, science and engineering focused middle school in Harlem, at the SONY Wonder Technology Lab in the heart of mid-town Manhattan for the regional Future City competition. This was one of several regional competitions that CH2M HILL supported through its sponsorship of the 2013 National Engineers Week Foundation’s annual Future City Competition. The Competition is designed to spark 6th, 7th, and 8th grade student’s interest in science, technology and math through a fun, interactive challenge in which kids conceptualize, design and build cities of the future with guidance from professional folks from the A/E/C industry.
This year’s competition theme was, Rethink Runoff: Design Clean Solutions to Manage Stormwater Pollution. As a leading stormwater engineering firm, CH2M HILL had 10 New York City staff mentor middle school students at CSS. Beginning in October 2012, mentors supported students at CSS through in-class visits, lecturing on urban planning and stormwater management, and leading a hands-on exercise demonstrating basic infiltration principles. Volunteers also spent time reviewing and commenting on the student’s essays in the office. On January 19th, several CH2M HILL employees were on-hand to serve as judges at the New York City regional competition.
The dedication of mentors and volunteers paid off with multiple wins for CSS teams at the regional competition including:
- Best Stormwater Management Strategy, Sunshine City
- Most Futuristic Design, New Sugar City
- Best Airport System, Watergreen City
- Best Education System, New Sugar City
And a special congratulation goes out to the 1st place winners, ‘Sunshine City’, who advanced to the National Competition in Washington, D.C. during National Engineers Week 2013. Today the team was busy reconstructing their model for the final Students and judges hard at work on the regional competition daycompetition. Preliminary judging takes place on President’s Day with the final presentations and national winner crowned on February 19.
“Seeing the dedication, excitement, and ingenuity of the kids participating in Future Cities reminded me of my days as a student. It was participation in events like this that gave my education greater purpose and direction and ultimately led me to a career in engineering. It is so fun to have a chance to pay it forward and invest in the future of engineering,” said Kate Marney, project engineer and New York City Future City Mentor.