Contact: Jessalyn Holdcraft, NewBoCo Director of Marketing
Cedar Rapids, IA, January 16, 2017 – Future City Iowa is set to celebrate 25 years of students envisioning more sustainable cities with its Regional Competition at Prairie Point Middle School. A record 51 teams of middle school students will compete with their model cities following the theme of “The Power of Public Spaces” this Saturday, January 21.
“To see such growth over the years is very rewarding and exciting,” Future City Iowa Regional Co-Coordinator Jean Oberbroeckling said. “Knowing that students are being exposed to engineering design principles at such an early age gives me such hope for the future.”
Oberbroeckling has led Future City Iowa for seven years. This year, NewBoCo K-12 Education Director Kristine Sorensen joined the team as a Co-Coordinator.
“The Imagination Iowa (NewBoCo’s K-12 education initiative) and Future City Iowa partnership just makes sense,” Sorensen said. “Our values align perfectly; creativity, entrepreneurship, technology, engineering, and empowering the future generation to design what they want their community to look like is at the core of our mission.”
The theme of public spaces was chosen due to their capacity to revitalize a city’s economy by introducing new businesses and bringing in new visitors and have been shown to help reduce crime, ease traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety, promote healthy living, improve the environment, and enhance civic engagement.
“With beautifully designed and functional public spaces in Cedar Rapids like Greene Square, Cedar Rapids Public Library, and NewBo City Market, I can’t wait to see what the students have created on Saturday,” Sorensen said.
The first place team will receive an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the Future City Competition National Finals in Washington, D.C., February 18-22, 2017, preceding Engineers Week.
The judges who will determine the winning model include:
- Nan Mattai, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology at Rockwell Collins
- Scott Schulte, Z102.9 Radio Personality
- Charles Connerly, Urban and Regional Planning Director and University of Iowa Professor
- Mike Davies, 2016 Iowa Regional Alumnus of the Year Recipient, Iowa State University Senior, Majoring in Math and Computer Engineering
- Justin Roberts, KGAN CBS 2 Weather Anchor and WMT Radio Personality
- Keri Hornbuckle, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor at University of Iowa
For a full schedule of Saturday’s competition visit the Future City Iowa website.
About Imagination Iowa
Imagination Iowa, NewBoCo’s K-12 STEAM education program, runs CoderDojo, DojoPro, a summer camp series, Iowa Girls Code Camp, is a Future City Iowa partner, and other programs that focus on encouraging creativity, fostering entrepreneurship, helping kids learn how to code, and promote computer science.
DiscoverE’s Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students imagine, design, and build cities of the future.
DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.