Illinois Future City engineering competition winners move on to international finals in Washington DC

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The winning team from St. Paul of the Cross School

The top five winners in the Illinois Future City Competition have been selected after the 26th regional competition on Jan. 20 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

The first place team, from St. Paul of the Cross School, will compete in the international final competition in Washington D.C. Feb. 17 to 20, where the grand prize winner will receive a $100,000 award. Overall, the competition, designed to encourage middle school students to consider science, technology and engineering careers, has attracted 40,000 students attending 1,350 schools in 41 U.S. regions, as well as teams from Canada, China and the Middle East.

In Chicago, St. Paul of the Cross School received first place honors for its project titled “Happyville.”

“They presented many strong elements to support this year’s theme The Age-Friendly City,” the award citation said. “One of their thoughts was: ‘You cannot buy happiness; however, you can live in Happyville.’”

This is the fourth time that St. Paul of the Cross School has been selected as the first place team in the regional competition in the past few years.

The top five teams are:

1st Place – St. Paul of the Cross School – Happyville
2nd Place – Science Academy of Chicago – Esperanza
3rd Place – Wood Dale Jr. High – Forever Young
4th Place – Urbana Middle School – Kellung
5th Place – Westmont Jr High – Bestmont

More than 200 students and educators participated in this year’s regional competition and more than 125 judges participated during the competition. Twenty-six Special Awards were also presented.

Other top winners included:

1st Virtual City – St Paul of the Cross School – Happyville
1st Essay – St Paul of the Cross School – Happyville
1st Model – Urbana Middle School – Kellung
1st Presentation – Urbana Middle School – Kellung
1st Peer – Science Academy of Chicago – Esperanza

The St. Paul of the Cross School team prepares now for the national competition in Washington, D.C. during National Engineers Week, where they will take on 43 competitors.

This year’s theme was The Age-Friendly City. Future City asked middle school students to respond to and address the challenges in designing innovative solutions that can serve an urban area’s older population. Students were tasked with identifying age related issues in their city planning and engineering a framework that enables seniors to remain active and independent.

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