Carson Middle School students develop future city

In Sputnik, the houses are dome-shaped and residents can only enter after registering with the DNA recognition system. The highways don't have lines on them because cars have been replaced with hover crafts.

Waste from the city's industrial plants is captured in large balls above the buildings then piped to the power plant to create energy, eliminating pollution.

Where is this place that is home to the Sputnik Shopping Center and the lavender-colored Haley's Comet Bar and Grill?

It's all laid out on a poster board at Carson Middle School.

Students in Stuart Rawlings' technology class designed and built the to-scale model of the imaginary city as part of the Future Cities competition being held today at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"The whole idea of city planning is so fundamental to anybody's life," Rawlings said. "Basically, everybody lives in a community and they will know what's involved in that process."

Five teams originally planned to compete from the school but only one team is ready for today's Northern Nevada competition against other schools in the region.

Cody Jo Kefer, 14, Sarah McAllister, 13, and Tiffany Fether, 13, came in on their lunch hour and after school to work on the project.

"I am proud that, together as a team, we did this," Cody Jo said. "We almost gave up because we didn't think we would finish. Even if we don't win, we can say we did it."

The students began by designing a city, using the computer program Sim City. Later, they built a proportionate model of a piece of that city and wrote a 300- to 500-word report explaining how their city would operate. At the competition, each group will give a five- to seven-minute presentation then answer questions from a panel of judges.

Sarah stepped up as the mathematician of the group, figuring exact measurements to make the city fit the one-inch to 20-foot model.

"It was hard figuring out most of the model," she said. "But I like math so it was also easy because it was fun."

Cody Jo's artistic ability lent the city a flash of sparkley, purple and pink style.

"It was really fun putting glitter on all of the balls," she said.

Tiffany focused more on the design of the city.

"I just like designing a lot," she said. "I can't stick with my room. It has to be rearranged like once a month."

In addition to creating the city together, the girls also formed a friendship. Cody Jo came this year from New Mexico and Sarah moved from San Francisco. Tiffany grew up here.

"We didn't even know each other," Cody Jo said. "Now, we're good friends."

The competition is sponsored by The Regional Transportation Commission, the American Public Works Association and Our Future Cites.

Winners from the regional finals will compete in national finals in Washington D.C. during Nation Engineers Week from February 17 to 23.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment