City Futures

The group also went beyond the regulations of the Future City Competition, and made their model entirely out of recycled items.

"We wanted to set an example by making an eco-friendly model," said Bilal Salam.

Gowana Middle School students built a city in space called Infinity for the competition, which garnered three awards for the team.

Infinity rotates on an orbital tower, which produces artificial gravity, so that its 1,000 residents, who take a space elevator to their homes, can live comfortably. The elevator works on magnetic levitation technology, and can carry supplies and people to and from Infinity to Earth.

"You can do things you only dreamed of on Earth," said Adrianna Ortiz in her presentation about the city.

The team's awards were 2008 Best Presentation, Best Engineered City and Best City to Live In.

All the Shen students agreed that the project was hard work, but a lot of fun.

"It's a good learning experience, and it's always fun to hang out with your friends," said Lauren Kovalefsky from Gowana Middle School. Her team spent several lunch periods working on the project, as well as meeting almost every day after school, according to the group.

"We made new friends and had a good time," said Sean Walsh, a seventh grader from Acadia.

While each student had his or her own reason for joining the team, they were all excited to be in the competition.

Tejas Roysam, a Koda Middle School student on the Future City team said he joined because, "My dad is an engineer. I think it is a big part of modern life."

"It's a great opportunity to show our inner talents," Garbos said.

He explained that each piece of the project focuses on a different discipline.

With the help of a teacher and an engineering mentor, the students were required to design a city that used nano technology to monitor the health of the city,

Superintendent Oliver Robinson, who was able to see the students' presentations at the school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, said, "When their creative minds go to work, we are amazed by what they can do.""

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