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Engineering: Through the Eyes of Students

Contributor: Arjuna Ranasinghe, and Kerri Tyerman

The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students in the sixth to eighth grades imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Along with an educator and engineer mentor, students work as a team to research and write solutions to an engineering problem, build tabletop scale models with recycled materials, and plan cities using SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software.

In January, students presented their ideas before judges at the first round of regional competitions. As a second-year participant, Dewberry’s Bloomfield office sponsored the 2012 New Jersey Future City Competition, at Rutgers Livingston Campus Student Center. With approximately 80 teams participating, there were more than 240 students and associated teachers, mentors, and parents in attendance.

Real-World Examples
As a sponsor, we participated in the “Meet the Professionals” session where students viewed project displays and spoke with us about design, construction, and supporting infrastructure of our projects, particularly the I-93 Fast 14 Rapid Bridge Replacement project. We used this project as an example of how projects are built, including design, permitting, and construction processes. We also used this project as an example of how projects can be accelerated and their benefits for the public.

It’s important to give back to our profession through encouraging the interest of our future engineers. It’s rewarding to see our work through the eyes of energetic students with a love of science and math.
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