AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - This year's Future City Competition celebrated its 25th anniversary while bringing 45 middle school teams together to research and design a solution to a city-wide challenge.
Challenging the leaders of the future to think outside the box, the Future City Competition requires innovation, creativity, and skillful engineering. "And it's all about really reaching the students early to explain a lot of the career paths for engineering. So that we hope that one day we can hire them at Savannah River Site. Or, for our community, we like to think that we're growing our youth for engineering jobs in our country and our nation," says Kim Mitchell, with the Education Outreach Programs for Savannah River Site.
This year's theme is an age-friendly city. Students were challenged with dealing with age-related issues and had to present solutions to help the elderly remain active and engaged. "Because we all age. So, even these students will one day face these same issues. And so we're actually able to go in now and teach them it's more than just an education program, it's about how to be a passionate concerned citizen," says Mitchell.
Team Agua Sabia of Kennedy Middle School decided to make their city more age-friendly by using water from the river that divides South Carolina and Georgia.
"We also have a salt water aerobics center just to incorporate water into the seniors' everyday lives. The natural salt water is great to soothe arthritis; so we're incorporating that," says Haven Rasmusson of Team Agua Sabia.
The teammates say the experience has helped open their eyes to the world around them and how they can make it better. "I've met a lot of new people. And it's been really like an eye-opening experience, dealing with places that don't have it as good as we do. Made me appreciate America more," says Peter Gleason.
The Future City competition hopes to continue to be an opportunity for young leaders to challenge themselves and become innovators of the world.
Congratulations to Team Agua Sabia for winning first place! They will go on to represent South Carolina in the national competition in February in Washington, DC.