What would a city on the Moon look like? Just ask Colorado Academy’s innovative and analytical Middle School Future City team, and they will have a first-rate answer for you.
In fact, the team’s entry into the annual Future City competition took First Place at the Colorado Regional Competition. The team’s future city on the Moon, Mångata Subexo, will now go on to compete at the National finals. Award winners will be announced on April 7.
“Students brainstormed and sketched ideas for a city on the Moon from day one,” says Technology Integration and Innovation Specialist Jennie Kies. “It was fun to see their ideas evolve as they researched the obstacles to living on the Moon.”
What is Future City?
Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include storm water management, urban agriculture, public spaces, and green energy. The 2020-2021 theme is “Living on the Moon.” Teams design a futuristic lunar city and provide examples of how the city uses two Moon resources to keep its residents safe and healthy. Participants complete five projects to support their entry: a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model (or multiple model segments) built from recycled materials; a project plan, a presentation video, and a virtual/online Q&A session with judges.*
Imagining life on the Moon during a pandemic
The award-winning Middle School team included Seventh Grade students Kate Freeman, Adam Marwan, Liam McKee, Luis Diego Rodriguez and Eighth Grade students River Hamm, Margie Timmers, Oliver Twite, and Lincoln Ward. They overcame last-minute quarantines and all of the challenges presented by a school year with COVID-19 protocols, remained resilient, and succeeded in imagining a future lunar city built with innovative technologies and with a culture of equality.
“I was so impressed with how students responded to current events by developing a city where mental and physical health care are a right, not a privilege,” says Kies. “Early in the process, thinking about what it would be like to live in lunar conditions, students wanted to make sure that all 5,000 lunar citizens were happy and healthy.”
This is Colorado Academy’s second year of competing in Future City. Coaches Kathleen Kirkman and Jennie Kies began the program last year with a novice team that won several special awards and Second Place overall.
This year, in addition to First Place, the team won the National Repertory Orchestra STEAM Ahead special award for incorporating arts and culture in the city design.
The CA community can support the students by voting for their entry to win the “People’s Choice Award,” starting March 15, at vote.futurecity.org. Voting for this award is open to everyone!