Leading Stormwater Engineering Firm CH2M HILL Encourages Support Of National Engineers Week Foundation's Annual Future City Competition
Over 35,000 students nationally asked to rethink runoff and design clean solutions to manage stormwater pollution
From flood to drought and biting cold to blistering heat, extreme weather is increasingly prevalent throughout the world. Politicians, academics and engineers are working to do their part to manage this issue and reduce the effect of climate change. Starting this fall, middle schoolers from across the country, participating in National Engineers Week Foundation’s 2012-2013 Future City Competition, will act as engineering leaders to develop their own solutions to combat the devastating effect of flooding after prolonged drought, which is often brought on by these severe weather events.
The 2012-2013 Future City Competition, with the theme Rethink Runoff: Design Clean Solutions to Manage Stormwater Pollution, is expected to attract more than 35,000 students from various middle schools in regions located across the country. The annual challenge has received national attention and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers nationwide to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through hands on applications, Future City participants discover how engineering is both accessible and can make a difference in the world.
Sixth, seventh and eighth graders are eligible to take part in the competition. The registration deadline for schools nationwide is Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Future City is also looking for engineering and technical professionals who may be interested in serving as mentors. For information, school registration, or to volunteer, visit www.futurecity.org.
Global engineering firm CH2M HILL is actively supporting Future City through mentors and sponsorship of regional competitions in Georgia, Ohio, and New York City.
Brian Marengo, CH2M HILL Global Technology Leader for Watershed Services says, “Future City encourages students to take a holistic and collaborative approach to creative problem solving to address some of the most critical challenges facing our world. We are excited to be teaming with Future City to help engage students across the country in developing solutions and are excited to see their out-of-the box thinking come to fruition through their designs and city models. Mentoring a team of bright, innovative students is an incredibly rewarding experience and we at CH2M HILL encourage our clients and partners to consider making a difference by volunteering with Future City—especially those stormwater professionals who can help increase understanding and incite enthusiasm for the profession by putting this year’s Rethink Runoff theme into context.”
On Wednesday, October 10, Marengo joined Bentley System’s Richard Zambuni on a Future City webinar to help set the stage on the Rethink Runoff topic for students and teachers. The webinar, which was recorded and is available for viewing here, shared how engineers have been tackling this problem for thousands of years, the basics of low impact development and green infrastructure for stormwater management, the drivers for implementation, and how low impact development and green infrastructure can be effectively integrated with other city infrastructure.
Students are now off and running with their projects, and will begin by submitting a research essay describing their solutions for this year’s stormwater theme. As students analyze the most damaging effects of extreme weather, they will imagine and design new and creative ways to manage stormwater that make city landscapes act more like natural landscapes. Using SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition software, participating students will work with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a virtual Future City model incorporating their ideas. Then they will build a physical model using recycled materials which can cost no more than $100 to build.
As each team addresses its stormwater runoff solutions, students will consider the safety, cost, efficiency and appearance of their ideas. They will also learn about the engineering disciplines that encompass their solutions, including learning and identifying the steps of the design process.
Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, a sponsor of the national Future City Competition for the past 14 years, says, “This year’s challenge is particularly timely given the massive flooding that occurred early in 2012 in so many parts of the globe. Providing resilience to such devastation through the design and construction of better-performing, intelligent infrastructure is what engineers do to protect the world’s life-sustaining potable water supplies. Having these bright young students come up with similarly rigorous solutions to a problem they know to be very real is a great way to inspire them to pursue a career in engineering – so that they, too, can make a difference in the quality of life for people around the world.”
About Future City Competition
The Annual National Engineers Week Foundation’s Future City Competition, for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, is held from September, 2012 through February, 2013. The Future City Competition is a program of National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations.
About National Engineers Week Foundation
The National Engineers Week Foundation works year-round to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession critical to public health, safety, and welfare. The Foundation supports engineering outreach, education, and celebration through a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences, and making science and math relevant. The Foundation and coalition are actively putting the E in STEM. For more information, visit www.eweek.org.
About CH2M HILL
Headquartered near Denver, Colorado, USA, employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. The firm’s work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environmental, energy, facilities and resources. With US$6.4 billion in revenue and 30,000 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record and named a leader in sustainable engineering by Verdantix. The firm has been named a FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For five times and was named Water Company of the Year at the 2012 Global Water Awards. For more information, visit www.ch2mhill.com.
SOURCE: CH2M HILL