Five students from Canonsburg Middle School’s Gifted Program took part in the 2014 Future City Competition at the Carnegie Music Hall in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. CMS students earned an honorable mention at the competition. This was the school’s fifth year competing.
The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students in grades 6-8 imagine, design, and build cities of the future. For the students at Canonsburg Middle School, this cross-curricular project ran from October to January.
Eighth-graders April Giles and Esmee DeCortie, and seventh-graders Braden Johnson, Max Spallinger and Priya Ray stayed after school every week to complete research, design their city, and actually construct it. Their city, Cosmic Metropolis, was located in space. Their city operated as a hub-and-spoke system in which the main “hub” was the downtown area and the nodes were its suburbs.
To help guide the students during the project, Ms. Pam Moniodes (gifted teacher) recruited Mr. Chris Nairn (science teacher) and Mr. Bob Terwillinger (engineer). Mr. Nairn has done the project in the past and provided students with insight on how the competition works. Mr. Terwillinger, a civil engineer, helped the students gain a better understanding of how things are built. This project gave students an opportunity to do what engineers do such as identifying problems, brainstorming ideas, and working as a team.