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Farnsworth finishes strong at Future Cities

A group of Farnsworth middle school students placed 10th at the Future Cities Competition National Finals on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Washington, D.C., and took home a special award for their model's communication system.

The experience was really outstanding, said middle-schooler Joe Sipzner, who represented the team in Washington. "It was great to see everyone's hard work."

The students were awarded the Best Communications System Award for their Personal Education Device featured in their presentation. The PED, as part of Ciobala's communications system, would allow students in their futuristic city to go on virtual field trips, and communicate with others around the world.

"They gave thought and consideration to the capabilities and limitations of the technologies, including a consideration of spectrum crowding and frequency collisions," said Monica Mallini, one of the judges in a statement. "This distinguished them from the other teams."

The students each won $100 in U.S. savings bonds for the award.

The competition included using software to create a mock city, and then constructing a model using recyclable materials.

The students, though, were humble about their award.

Sipzner said the competition helped the team learn a lot about what engineers really do.

To complete the project, they had to extensively researched aerospace technology.

"I learned a lot about engineering, and that there is more than one kind of engineer," said Abigail Schnoor, another team member. She said she had fun presenting the project as well.

Faculty advisor Deb Ecsobar said the chance for Farnsworth students to interact with other students was important for her and the team.

"It was a grueling experience. You're on your feet for four hours," Escobar said. "The students were a real source of pride for our school, going out of their way to congratulate winning teams and to be kind to both students and adults alike."

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