8th Graders Claim 2nd Place in Future Cities

2019 Future Cities BANN

Two teams of middle school students led by Trevor Davis, Gifted Teacher, participated in this year’s Future Cities competition. This year’s challenge was to build a city that had a power resiliency plan that would be implemented if the city lost its main source of power due to a natural disaster.

The 8th grade team of engineers pictured above, Alyssa Foreacre, Aurora Demko, Nolan Sessa, and Aidan Torres, created Imperium which was run on nuclear fusion as its main power source. Aiden Torres explained, “Our transmission lines were cool. The way we distributed power throughout our city was, we moved our transmission lines underground and then used wireless power distribution to send our power throughout the city. And our power lines can repair themselves using magnetic connections.”

But if their nuclear fusion power was destroyed by a natural disaster, the city contained solar, wind, and hydro power back-ups. When not needed, these three sources are storing excess power to be used in emergency situations.

The Future Cities competition consists of five required elements which total 258 points: City Model (70), City Presentation (70), City Essay (60), Virtual City Design (48), and Project Plan (10). Of those 258 points, the 8th grade team was beat out by only 15 points by a team that was made up of 25 students as compared to the MAMS team who completed all five required elements with a team of only FOUR students. 


“Imperium” was designed and created by the 8th grade team consisting of Alyssa Foreacre, Aurora Demko, Nolan Sessa, and Aidan Torres.

“Prior to the presentation portion, we had a better essay, virtual city and model. Our model was impressive,” Nolan said. Aidan agreed, “We put mirrors on our model, so all high lighting areas were reflective so our model sparkled which was pretty sick.” “The 1st first place team’s presentation and answers to the judges’ questions were better than ours,” admitted Nolan. And that’s what ended up making the difference between 1st and 2nd place. The Imperium engineers were very proud of their accomplishment considering they came in a close 2nd behind a team of 25 students. Their model will be on display at The State Museum in Harrisburg from March 9 to May 5.

There won’t be a “next year” for the 8th graders to improve on their presentation but the 7th grade team can certainly learn from their peers. The 7th grade engineers made their city, Mollitium, power resilient by rebuilding its underground power lines out of materials that can withstand earthquakes and adding power grids and electrolysers to provide back-up energy when needed.


“Mollitiam” was designed and created by the 7th grade team consisting of Rachel Trefz, Ryan Foreacres, Luke Lekites and Max Dupes.

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