Give kids a chance, and they excel

National Engineers’ Week Future City Competition is an amazing opportunity for 7th and 8th graders (even home schools). The students use Sim City software to design future cities. Then they build scale models, write essays, and give oral presentations on their city.

This year’s competition is over. On January 24, 2009, the Chicago Area Regional Competition winners were Washburne Middle School, Chicago State University, St. Paul of the Cross, St. Clair, and Franklin Middle School (listed consecutively). But, soon enough, it will be time to get to work in preparation for next January’s Competition.

It’s a lot of work, but the participants develop valuable engineering and teamwork skills, while expressing their creativity. With the competition for, and cost of, college increasing every year, it’s important to encourage children to explore their interests and give them a leg up in contests for scholarships. I always encourage my nieces and nephews to discover what they enjoy doing and what they’re good at, so that when the time comes to choose a career they can make the right choice for them.

The Future City Competition can give students an edge in applying for school and scholarships, while letting them get a taste of what their future could hold. One of those competitors could change the world.


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