By Kristin Bednarski
Eighth grade students at Batavia Middle School took home second place in the state and earned several other awards during the Future City Engineering Competition Jan. 19 in Columbus.
Several students presented their city, Pema Koe, to Batavia Township Trustees during their Feb. 4 meeting, and were recognized for their hard work and achievement.
“They have to design a city 200 years in the future,” Mary Bradburn, an eighth grade teacher at the middle school, said about the project.
Bradburn supervised the students throughout the time-intensive project, which involved designing a table-top scale model of the city and incorporating a variety of engineering and science knowledge into a presentation.
Students also worked with an engineer from Proctor & Gamble Company to help them create their city.
In their presentation, they had to apply math and science concepts, research and propose solutions to engineering challenges, write a detailed presentation, learn how to work as a team, and more.
“The hardest part of the whole project was getting everyone’s ideas to come together as one,” Lucas Herron, one of the students who presented the project, said. “Because everyone’s views could be so different.”
Their presentation explained how Pema Koe operated and what life is like there on a daily basis.
Students explained that Pema Koe, a city with soil and mudflow problems, was equipped with asphalt pavers to divert water flow, eco-lawns to absorb runoff and a precipitation oasis to collect rainwater.
Snow melt on their future city was purified for drinking water and the city was designed to have one-eighth of the carbon footprint of a normal city.
The students explained that recreation in the city included outdoor activities on the city’s mountains as well as a huge recreation center that incorporated many virtual activities.
Bradburn said students put about 60 hours of work into creating just the model of the city. She said they also had to prepare the presentation, which students performed in front of judges at the competition.
“We had to get there early in the morning, we were tired, the first presentation we were all nervous,” Dylan Young, one of the presenters, said.
Young said they presented three times total and each time they felt less nervous because they knew what to expect.
Bradburn said some of the judges are engineers themselves, and ask the students questions about their city design.
In addition to taking home second place in the state, Batavia students also earned awards for Best Computer City Design, Best Use of Recycled Materials, Best Moving Part, Best Infrastructure and Most Environmentally Friendly City.
Zach Newcomb, one of the presenters, said they were a little disappointed they didn’t win the competition, but were still excited they placed second and received other awards.
“It was cool once we finished everything to see all the stuff we had done,” Newcomb said. “It was cool to see how we matched up to the other competition, and getting second it was good to see what we did was actually good work.”
Batavia Township trustees congratulated the students for their success and presented them with a trophy during the meeting.
“It’s amazing what talent we have in our community,” Rex Parsons, township administrator, said after the presentation.