Monday, February 18, 2002

Students show off their city in contest

St. Ignatius team in Washington, D.C.

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONFORT HEIGHTS — Twelve St. Ignatius School students are in Washington, D.C., this week competing in the 2002 National Engineers Week Future City Competition. The team beat 35 other middle school teams in state competition last month.

        Students built a city of the future using Sim City 3000 software illustrating futuristic ideas and components. Teams then built a 3-D model of the city, wrote an abstract describing their city, plus an essay on designing the city's energy management program.

        The challenge was to build an energy-efficient city that could sustain itself. St. Ignatius students focused on wind energy, naming their city Augustawind, a future city of 150,000 people in 2161. Features include a working windway with kite cars powered by wind, a working amusement park, and wind chime and wind instrument factories.

        “They really paid attention to what it looks like, almost as if you could be a visitor there,” said Cynthia Tisue, the school's art teacher who spearheaded the competition.

        Each team had a $100 limit to build the 3-D model. They spent $31.63, using items such as Styrofoam, straws, candleholders and pizza tables — those plastic spacers that keep pizza box lids from sticking to the toppings.

        “It was kind of like an experiment,” said team member Katie Lewnard, an eighth-grader. “It's not like in math where you have a definite answer. You have to experiment with different materials.”

        Students learned teamwork, as well as engineering. “Because we did so much brainstorming, they learned that everybody's ideas have validity and that's how problems are solved — by talking about it and trying things,” Ms. Tisue said.

        Besides earning an overall first place in Ohio, the St. Ignatius team won first in the Best Use of Energy and Best Architectural Model categories and honorable mentions in Best Use of Recreation and Most Environmentally Friendly.

        Team members are: Eighth-graders Tony Bartish, Stephen Berling, Andy Brown, Adam Hansmann, Katie Lewnard and Jeff Overbeck; seventh-graders, Marc Byard, Stephanie Doyle, Russ Gatermann, Abbie Jung, Kara Lewnard and Ben Wanstrath; Ms. Tisue and Michael McGowan, science teacher; and engineer mentor, Andrew Bartish of Mechanical Tech Systems.


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