Although they're too young to compete in the official competition, Seeliger Elementary School students in the gifted and talented program designed environmentally friendly cities as part of the Future Cities project.
They presented their projects to classmates at the school Friday morning.
Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, students learn basic engineering concepts to design cities in the future that include factors such as residential neighborhoods, transportation systems and water features.
The students were encouraged to use their own neighborhoods as inspiration for those in the future, and some defied not only the limits of time, but of space.
Fifth-graders Tim Dalton and Shane Johnson built their city in the "fourth dimension." The population was two-thirds human and one-third alien.
"Our town protector is a giant monster," Dalton explained. "And everything is opposite. Lava is our water supply."
A lava wheel supplied power for the city, and the residents mined crystals as a source of income. They later explained why they needed a monster to protect them.
"Since we're in the fourth dimension, a lot of things you normally wouldn't see, like dinosaurs, are here," Dalton said.
Steven Earle worked with teammates Brian Tschirhart and Quinn Peterson, all 10, to design a city where a conveyor belt, powered by water, moved cars across a bridge.
He said the team spent a lot of time planning and barely finished the project on time, but he learned important lessons.
"Not all things come together the first time so you might have to improvise, rebuild or come up with a different plan," Earle said.
Mentor Joe Cacioppo, of Resource Concepts, Inc., said he works with elementary students so they will be better prepared for the middle school competition.
Seeliger Elementary School students in the Gifted and Talented Education program who participated in the Future Cities project:
Dylan Dwelly, Terryn Earle, Derek Redlark, Wesley Sonnemaker, Rayden Sponburgh, Ashlyn Wilhoite, Brandon Wilson, Ethan Snyder, Zaria Douglas, Matthew Gunkel, Brennan Peterman, Ryan Sanchez.
Jordan Beck, Kara Berggren, Noah Doddridge, Michala Dotson, Danny Dudley, Darby Griffin, Rebecca Ostrander, Stephen Rash, Josie Share, Cyrus Stokes, Andrew Trejo, Anya Woodbury, Alyssa Woodward.
Sarah Dwelly, Steven Earle, Haley Gray, Sharon Knight, Ikela Lewis, Rachel Machado, Giovanni Madera, Jonathan Mendivil, Quinn Peterson, Angelo Shao, Brian Tschirhart, Rodolfo Velasco, Tim Dalton, Shane Johnson, Logan Osborne.