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Future City competition middle school participants design clean water cities

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the brightest young minds in the region met on the Boise State campus to design a resilient system for maintaining a city’s supply of clean drinking water at the National Engineers Week Future City Competition. Thirty-seven teams from 17 schools participated in the event, held in the Student Union Building Jordan Ballroom. Participants came from across Idaho including Ammon, Blackfoot, Boise, Caldwell, Garden Valley, Hailey, Homedale, Ketchum, Kuna, Meridian, Nampa, Riggins and Sandpoint.

This year’s theme was “Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow” and challenged students to choose a threat to their city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean drinking water. Teams of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students and their expert mentors worked to envision an ideal urban environment based on the theme. The vision then was brought to life through a 1,500-word essay, SimCity4 Deluxe computer simulation and a large, three-dimensional model.

winning team group photo at Future City competition

First place went to Light of Learning’s Future City Luna Glacias students: Max Hollist, Sara Hollist and Spencer Patton, along with teacher Deonna Holist and mentor Meghann Donley (with HDR engineering) will represent Idaho at the 28th National Future City Finals Feb. 14-19 in Washington, D.C.

winning team group photo at Future City competition

Second place went to Homedale’s Future City Maru, pictured below.

  • Third place went to Garden Valley School’s Future City Al Qahiratu
  • Fourth place went to Heritage Middle School’s Future City New Safi
  • Fifth place went to Salmon River Junior High School’s Future City Waitaki

The projects were judged by local industry professionals. Staff and students in Boise State’s College of Engineering also were on hand to lend their support and connect with the young competitors in the hope of inspiring further exploration of STEM.

The event was held in partnership with the Idaho STEM Action Center and INL.

Platinum sponsors included: Boise State College of Engineering, ARC Document Solutions, Forsgren Associates, HDR, Hewlett Packard (HP), Idaho Society of Professional Engineers, Idaho State University College of Science and Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Parametrix, SUEZ Water, Sunrise Rotary Club of Boise and Western Consulting Group.

Distinguished “celebrity” judges for the final presentations included:

  • Cathy Cooper, the director of engineering for SUEZ Water,
  • Haley Falconer, the environmental division manager for the City of Boise,
  • Nick Hudyma, chair and professor of civil engineering within the Boise State College of Engineering,
  • Reme Pullicar, the Project Management Institute, Western Idaho Chapter and Integrated Health Technologies project manager of St. Luke’s Health System

For more information about the regional competition, visit For more about the national competition, visit