Prepare as a Sixth Grader

By Edgar Ortusiastigue, CH2M HILL associate project manager

Edgar with a Future City

On January 19, I had the terrific opportunity to act as a judge for the Southern Nevada Regional Future City competition. The day started with a 2.5 hour drive from beautiful Barstow, Calif. to Las Vegas, Nev. The competition started with a kickoff celebration where the kids were reminded the main purpose of the event was to have fun and they had no reason to be nervous.

Judges hard at work assessing the city designs and models.

I was under the impression that I was going to have more than enough time to rank/judge/comment my 6 teams (almost 4 hours) but I was wrong! It was amazing to see these kids in action; they had all their design points covered from sustainability, safety, transportation, entertainment to energy and water consumption. One team started the presentation in a foreign language because their future city was location in France; it was amazing to witness the preparation that the kids put into this event. I was so impressed. There was one team that incorporated a “natural” water treatment plant with specific plants based on the climate of their city’s location. There was another team that incorporated a “safe” elementary school with bullet proof and high-tech sensor cameras due to the events in Newtown, Conn. It is an amazing opportunity to be part of these events as a volunteer; the kids really admire and want to be engineers or scientist. It was very gratifying to me when one student asked me if I would be willing to build a machine to eliminate all plastic bottles because they pollute his park. Everybody should volunteer in their local communities, it was a great way to network, support our company’s efforts and have fun. At the end, the 5-hour round-trip drive was definitely worth it. I was reminded that we need to be more creative, think outside our boundaries, prepare and lead as a sixth grader would in a Future City competition.

One of the student’s city models.










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