A team of seven students from Iroquois and Van Antwerp finished among the top five teams taking part in the Capital Region Future City Competion at Proctors in Schenectady on January 10. Twenty-five teams competed in the event, which asks middle schoolers to use math, science, engineering, technology and their imaginations to design cities of the future.
"Vairnisky" won the Best Planned City and Rookie of the Year awards and the team took home the 5th place trophy overall. The city's name, Vairnisky, is a mash-up of VA, Iroquois and Niskayuna.
Team members included Bhanu Chelli, Cyrus Irani, Rohan Menon, Dennis Plotnikov, Ian Vernooy, Sara Vernooy, and Jacob Yanoff. The students were supported by Brian Yanoff, engineer mentor; Priti Irani, parent mentor; Luke Rakoczy, educator mentor; and Darius Irani, the team's student mentor. Parents and siblings also provided vital support.
First-place finisher, New Lebanon Junior/Senior High School, will go on to compete at the national level in Washington DC next month. Other teams in the top five included: Richard H. O'Rourke Middle School, second place; Farnsworth Middle School, third place, and Acadia Middle School placed fourth.
Teams began planning their future cities last September and were required to submit a virtual SimCity; write an essay on the theme of sustainable food; build a model city and deliver a presentation.
The National Future City Competition is sponsored in part by DiscoverE (formally known as the National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major US corporations. The regional Capital Region competition is entirely volunteer organized with support from over 50 local engineering/technology professionals, businesses and organizations.
Read more about the local competition: