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Jan. 16: WSU hosts middle school engineering competition

futurecityPULLMAN, Wash. – Designs for waste management that are good for the environment and communities will be demonstrated by 25 middle school teams from Washington, Idaho and Montana during a Future City competition 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, in the CUB at Washington State University Pullman.

Winners will compete at regionals in Seattle and, if they win there, at nationals in Washington, D.C., in February.

Students in the Future City competition learn to apply concepts from the classroom to a real-world problem. They develop writing, researching and public speaking skills in addition to sharpening project management abilities and getting a first-hand look at how engineers would tackle a problem.

“There is no age too young to begin designing a way to make the world a better place,” said Cara Morton, an instructor in WSU’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the WSU coordinator for the program.

Teams identify a problem a future city might face – this year, waste management. They brainstorm solutions; design them in a 3D virtual city; test, retest and build their final designs and share the results. They use the open-ended city-building computer and console video game SimCity.

Future City “introduces students to the field of engineering and opens their eyes to the fact that someone designed everything they use in their lives today,” Morton said.

For more information, go to


Cara Morton, WSU civil & environmental engineering, 509-335-7847,
Somayeh Nassiri, WSU civil & environmental engineering, 509-335-5574,
Brett Stav, WSU Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture communications, 509-335-7189,



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