For a fresh batch of ideas, who better to ask then 12-year olds? And dangle a trip to Space Camp (the grand prize) in front of them and who knows what they will come up with. This year, the annual National Engineers Week Future City Competition asks middle school students across the U.S. to create a city, with help from the computer game SimCity 3000, incorporating fuel cells as an alternative energy source. Entries must include the exact type of fuel cell and its kilowatt output for specific power needs.After 38 regional competitions in January, the short list flies to Washington, D.C. for the Future City National Finals, February 19-21. Some 30,000 students from 1,100 middle schools are expected to participate in the competition, which is held in conjunction with the annual National Engineers Week.
"Every year we challenge middle school students with a task that would leave most adults shaking their head," says Future City National Director Carol Rieg. "But, that level of difficulty only seems to invigorate these kids." ::Future City Competition