Wheatland STEAM Students Excel in Wisconsin Future City Competition

Wheatland STEAM Students Excel in Wisconsin Future City Competition

On Saturday, January 21st, 2023, four teams from Wheatland Center School participated in STEMForward’s Wisconsin Regional Future City Competition at Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center. The Future City Competition is a rigorous project focusing on using the engineering design process and project management cycle to address a challenge that future cities may face. Students participate in teams to write an essay, prepare a detailed presentation on different aspects of their city, make a project plan, and create a model of their Future City to scale. On competition day, students give a detailed presentation and answer questions about their city to a panel of expert judges from various engineering disciplines. 

Teams spend approximately four months creating cities that could exist at least 100 years in the future. Each city must incorporate a solution to a design challenge that changes each year. The theme for this year’s challenge was to create an adaptation to a climate change impact—as well as a mitigation strategy—to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Students had to design a city that would be able to adjust to events like increased flooding, rising sea levels, and natural disasters. Student solutions included bioengineered fire retardant trees, cofferdams, CO2 scrubbers, cultured meat, and structural carbon-fiber batteries.  

This year, 49 teams competed from all over southeastern Wisconsin. After a full day of competition, students waited for the results in all five areas. Wheatland students excelled at the project planning, essay, and presentation portions of the competition. Wheatland’s “Apollo” received the “Best Project Planning” award from PMI (Project Management Institute) for Project Plan consisting of 4 parts: setting goals, creating a schedule, conducting team check-ins, and reflecting on the project. 

7th grade student Jaxon Morehouse worked with his teacher to schedule an interview with Burlington’s city planner and zoning administrator in October. “We learned a lot about the decision making process when planning a city and the effects they have on residents and business owners,” he says. 

“Future City has taught me how much thought goes into zoning each section of a city, and how important it is to be able to work together with a team,” says 8th grade student Lillian Rayniak. 

“Everybody brings their strengths to the project,” adds 8th grade student Victoria Saftig. “No one person could ever do it alone.”

 Left to Right: Bennett Fuoss (7th), Victoria Saftig (8th), Jaxon Morehouse (7th); Bottom Row: Izabela Vanderhoef (8th), Jackson Bartelheim (7th)