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The Future Today: The Tech Museum Hosts Student Projects for "Future City Competition"

Press Release Date 
Friday, 15 January, 2010
Innovative models that show new ways to provide dwellings for people who have lost their homes to disaster or emergency are on display at The Tech Museum this week. Middle school students from nearly 40 regions across the U.S. are tackling engineering, math, economics, and the environment in the 2009-2010 National Engineers Week Future City® Competition. The theme: "Providing an Affordable Living Space for People Who Have Lost Their Home Due to a Disaster or Financial Emergency." The Tech Museum will feature Northern California's middle school student projects. "This year's theme is particularly timely in light of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. "Science, technology and innovation must play a critical role in helping to rebuild that nation and lead the search for answers to other global challenges in the environment, education and health, among other pressing areas." In the Northern California Region, the Future City Competition regional finals will be held on January 23, 2010 at Santa Clara University. The models are on display at The Tech Museum until Friday, January 22. More than 33,000 students from 1,100 middle schools are expected to participate nationwide. Students work in teams under the guidance of a teacher and a volunteer engineer mentor to design and build a city of tomorrow. They create cities on and then build three-dimensional, tabletop models to scale. To ensure a level playing field, models must use recycled materials and can cost no more than $100 to build. Students must present and defend their designs at the competition before a panel of engineer judges. They must also write and conduct research for an essay of 700-1,000 words on the theme. First-place winners from each qualifying regional competition receive a trip to the 18th annual Future City National Finals in Washington, D.C., February 13-17, during National Engineers Week. National grand prize is a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Sponsored by the nation's professional engineering community, Future City aims to stir interest in science, technology, engineering and math among young people. "Our students are enthusiastic, focused and highly motivated," said Rapunzel Amador Lewis, Regional Coordinator. "They have a unique appreciation for this theme because they understand that it addresses some of the most pressing issues our society faces. Their work reflects the passion they feel and their commitment to trying to make the world a better place." About The Tech Museum The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. Contact: Roqua Montez Senior Manager Public Relations (408) 795-6225 rmontez@thetech.org About Engineers Week The National Engineers Week Foundation, a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. Engineers Week also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineers' contributions to society. Founded in 1951, it is among the oldest of America's professional outreach efforts. Co-chairs for 2010 are ExxonMobil Corporation and the American Society of Civil Engineers. For more information, visit www.eweek.org. CONTACT: Northern California Regional Coordinator: Rapunzel Amador Lewis 209.667.7298 rapunzel@amadorlewis.com Sayles & Winnikoff Communications: Rick Gomes 212.725.5200 x114 rick@sayleswinnikoff.com