The BSCES Public Awareness & Outreach Committee hosts a slew of exciting events throughout the year, exposing young minds to different STEM fields. Recently, the Committee held its annual Future City and Model Bridge Competitions and now we are starting up our next adventure – Future Careers. To get involved and to learn more, visit www.engineeryourfuture.org
or contact me at email@example.com
The following are a few highlights from our recent events.
23rd Annual New England Regional Future City Competition
For this year’s competition, middle school students were challenged with creating cities 150 years in the future that have clearly designed methods of assuring they are Zero Waste Communities. For a better understanding of the competition and to obtain resources, please visit www.engineeryourfuture.org
. This year, the competition was held virtually using Microsoft Teams. Over 50 teams participated in the competition and in the end, 11 teams competed in the New England Regional Finals.
Congratulations to all teams that participated in the 2022 Future City Competition. All teams did a truly wonderful job, and all were worthy of going on to the international finals. A special congratulations to team Venice of Goose & Hen Farm Homeschool Collaborative, winner of this year’s People Choice Award. Thank you to everyone who voted.
Team Venice is representing New England at the International Finals, which will also be held virtually this year. We wish Team Venice the best of luck!
Here are lists of special awards recipients, regional finalists, and prize winners during the announcements between finals presentations:
31st Annual BSCES Model Bridge Competition
Every year we choose new materials from which teams are required to build their bridges. For this year’s competition, the materials were bamboo dowels, 36 inches long, and #4 test jute twine. To view a PDF of this year’s rules and specifications, click here
18 teams participated in this year’s competition. The models were tested the last week of January by visiting each school/program and recording the loading sessions. One of the difficulties of this year’s materials was lashing the bamboo together. To help with this issue, my friend Dan Howard and I made a video to help students with this problem. If anyone wants to build a bamboo and twine structure, it’s a must watch video
Congratulations to everybody who competed and volunteered in this Model Bridge Competition! Everyone did a beautiful job.
Here are the results:
Trophies, certificates, and t-shirts will be sent to the teams soon. Also, some of the teams have even won monetary awards! In each category, each team member will get $100 for 1st, $75 for 2nd and $50 for 3rd places.
I look forward to seeing you next year, and for those that are seniors, you can always come back and help run the contest! The test model this year was made by Ivan Kadurov, now an architecture student at Wentworth Institute of Technology, the host of our competition in “normal” years.
Thank you to all our sponsors, and to our judges and longtime volunteers/coordinators:
- Irene Barsky, MassDOT
- Alyson Bedard, MassDOT
- Alexander Bardow, MassDOT
- Shallan Fitzgerald, BSCES President
- Terry McCarthy, MBTA
We have a new concept for a competition we are piloting this year called Future Careers, which will feature both a middle school and high school category. The competition is a spinoff of the Future City Competition and is presently underway.
For the competition, students are asked to create a video which is set in the previous year’s Future City Competition winning city. For this year’s competition, the setting is Luna City, which is nestled into a crater on the moon 150 years from now (2172). Students need to make a video, maximum seven minutes long, that satisfies the following criteria:
- How the nature of the work has changed over the previous 150 years must be explained, whether that means that is different because of technological advances, the changing nature of the world or the environment, or even that this career never used to exist and now has become either possible or needed.
- The actual nature of the daily work must be explained, including the responsibilities and the inter-relationships with others in the community or beyond. Whether this is described in the form of a summary of a typical workday or in some other creative manner, there should be detail of the actual work done, the tools and technology involved and the role this work plays in the community or beyond.
- The video must discuss the training, formal education, or skills needed to perform this work. Stronger videos should capture this development as a continuing process, as education and skills development always continue.
- The challenges of the work need to be depicted in the video. These can be of any nature, whether they are related to the surroundings, the pressures, the physicality of the work, the need for strong analytical skills, etc.
- The favorite aspects of the work need to be described.
Each category above is scored on a scale of 0 to 4. A zero indicates the criteria has no mention. A 4 does a stellar job, not only delving into the imagination but equally tying in concepts that while not maybe presently achievable with current technology, are convincing as potential future technologies. Equally, a “4” score would show a clear understanding of the nature of the work, whether that be by displaying understanding of the work as it exists today and indicating how the 150 years of time would alter that or describing the work from scratch. Remember, this city is on the moon 150 years from now, and all the issues that arise from that setting need to be considered.
Aside from the above categories related to the materials, there are five other points that will be given for the quality of the presentation. We leave the format wide open, as it can be a recorded zoom call, an animation, a PowerPoint presentation, or a live action film. Even that can be left to the imagination. In this, the imagination is everything. No points will be given for special effects or costly production. A “5 point” video will make complete sense, have a flow to it, be both informative and entertaining, and well rehearsed.
In the end, scores will be from 1-25. There will be no Q&A sessions. How we share videos and score a “winner” will depend on participation, but it will be virtual.
I want to dedicate the competition to Chris Evasius, a dear friend of ours who recently passed away. We are truly going to miss him.