Over the years, cities and towns have managed their ever-expanding piles of trash in a variety of ways, including dumping it into landfills, burning it in incinerators, or shipping it off in trucks and barges. Such waste management systems contribute to air and water pollution and can be expensive and energy intensive. Today, engineers around the world are focused on the four R’s of waste management (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot), in an effort to deal with solid waste not as trash but as a resource.
With new solutions to waste management critical to the very survival of urban environments globally, the 2015-2016 Future City Competition, a program of DiscoverE, is now underway.
Wisconsin is one of 37 regions from across the country participating in the Future City Competition, a national, project-based learning experience where students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future.
Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place?
This year’s theme, Waste Not, Want Not, encourages students to design waste management systems for residential use and small businesses by looking at issues such as collection, separation, processing, recycling, health and safety, energy efficiency, environmental impact and cost. Students learn how today’s engineers and city planners deal with citywide sustainability issues like solid waste management. They research cutting edge technologies and imagine and design a plausible and futuristic solution that can exist for generations.
More than 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City Competition nationally. The deadline to register is Oct. 31.
You can register or learn more at www.futurecity.org.