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The team from St. Thomas More School, Baton Rouge, La., won the national 2005 Future City Competition. Left to right: Shirley Newman, teacher; students Lauren Arikol, Kathleen O'Hara, and Lisa Lynch; and engineer-mentor Jacques “Jack” Lasseigne. Photo: National Engineers Week

In the National Engineers Week Future City competition, students—under the guidance of a teacher and engineer mentor—design a city on a computer using SimCity 3000, build a 3-D model, write an essay, and create an oral presentation. Regional winners receive all-expense-paid trips to the national finals in Washington, D.C., Feb. 20–22, 2006.

More than 30,000 students from 1100 schools in 35 regions participated last year. National Engineers Week 2006 is co-chaired by the Society of Women Engineers and Northrop Grumman.

Future City national director Carol Rieg links the strong connection busy engineers make with the competition to their ability to excel at many things simultaneously.

“Advising middle school students is always a challenge, but when you're asked to help guide young people as they design, build, and present a future city, that's a task perfectly suited to engineers,” said Rieg, adding that Future City provides engineers a chance to open a window on a profession that young people may not otherwise consider.

For more information, visit www.futurecity.org.