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City Futures

Imagine living in Frostopia, Antarctica, a green city where lightning, wind, sun and even water currents produce energy for the town, which offers a wide array of winter sports and picturesque tours aboard hydrogen fuel cell powered airbuses.

Sound like a dream?

Well, it is. It's the dream of young engineers from Acadia Middle School in Clifton Park, who recently designed a city of the future.

"We have a wonderful thing here that reflects all of us," said Marcel Garbos, an eighth grader from Acadia, who was named the mayor of Frostopia by his group.

The group of nine students met twice a week to work on the project, which entailed creating a city of the future using the computer program SimCity 3000, designing a working model of the city, writing an abstract and essay about the city and its features, as well as developing a presentation.

The students competed in the Capital District Regional Future City Competition on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, and received the 2008 award for Best Use of Construction Materials.

The Acadia team was one of three groups from the Shenendehowa Central School District that competed in Saturday's event.

Koda Middle School students also competed for a chance to move on to the national competition in Washington, D.C. Their city, named Troy for its reference to strength, is located in Nova Scotia. It uses nano sensors to detect high levels of heat to shut down or eliminate the source of the temperature rise. This benefits the fire department in the town, according to the students, by allowing them to eliminate the source of the fire, and respond accordingly.

Another feature of their city is that every establishment including homes has a solar paint panel, which draws energy from the sun for consumption, or to be stored in hydrogen fuel cells for later use.

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