Fueling the Future City class

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With fewer participants and more competition, students in Olympic Peninsula Academy’s Future City group made a valiant effort at the state competition on Feb. 4.


Presenters Shawn Hardesty, 13, James Nolan, 13, and Skyler Harris, 11, didn’t place this year with their city, Anté, but say they learned a lot.


They worked with their teacher, Lilli Hardesty, engineer Justin Wilson, and fellow middle school students Lilly Gloor, Kylie Graham, Azriel Gonce, Heidi Purviance, Matt Roragen and Jared Thomas on the project since September.


Skyler said their task was centered on the concept “Fuel of the Future” and the city had to recycle and reuse all waste products without pollution.


They presented Anté in Seattle over four hours to various judges in a large room while other teams presented, too.


Their presentation included a speech, a Sim City simulation, a paper and a model. Students crafted 16 lights and three fans on the city, which met a requirement for at least one moving part. Anté included the most moving parts since OPA began competing.


Last year, OPA placed second, just missing out on the chance to go to the national championship.


James said in 2011 they had more involvement so the city was fairly elaborate.


“This year we had a lot of newcomers, so hopefully next year when they do it again they’ll have more experience,” he said.


Shawn competed for four years and said the class helped enhance his creative abilities and it possibly led him to pursue a career in electrical engineering.


Skyler said if he returns to the project, he hopes more students become excited about the project.


The Future City competition is a national program sponsored by engineering societies to promote interest in technology and engineering for middle school students.

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