For the fifth time in six years, a team from Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic School in Sandy Springs has won the Future City Regional Competition and represented the state in the National Championship in Washington, D.C., according to a press release.

Future City is an engineering education program and tasks students with researching, designing and building a city to showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue.

This year’s theme, “Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow,” challenged the students to identify a threat to their city’s water source and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean drinking water. The city would exist at least 100 years in the future, and the engineering solutions had to be innovative, futuristic and scientifically plausible, the release said.

At the competition, teams presented their vision of the future through a virtual city design using “SimCity” video game software, a 1500-word essay, a scale model of their city built with recycled materials and a short oral presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. There was a spending limit of $100 to complete the task.

Saint Jude’s team, named Team SMART Springs (an acronym for Safe Metropolis-Active Resilient Thriving), consists of sixth-graders Adam Doulby, Anna Duffy, Barbara Guaderrama, Robbie Mahan,

Ryan Quinnelly, Josh Tippen and eighth-grader Will Mahan. The students were guided by the faculty STEM advisor, Eleonora Straub, and parent coach, Banesa Guaderrama.

In addition to placing first in the region, Team SMART Springs also won Best Research Essay, Best Virtual City, Accessible City Award and a special award presented by NCEES for Best Land Surveying Practices, the release said.

Hannah Greco

Hannah Greco is writer and media communications specialist based in Atlanta.