Photo by Sandy Gady
The Olympic City team of Elliott Plourde, left, Matthew Garrido and Thomas Swanson placed second in the Washington State Future City regional competition.(Edited with the correct photograph)

Des Moines students do well in Future City event

Teams of students from Pacific Middle School in Des Moines won second, third, and fourth place at the Washington State Future City regional competition in January.

Three other teams from the school also placed, out of a field of 22 teams from around the state.

The Pacific team named “Olympic City,” won second place with team members Matthew Garrido, Elliott Plourde and Thomas Swanson.

Alex Kanemasu, Truman Ponder-Bader and Tristan Neathery led “Utopia” to a third place finish.

“Cloud 9” fourth-place finishers were Sam Johnson, Nick Hanley and Colin Meyers.

The “Time Cruisers” won fifth place. Anders Hunt, Trey Hunt and Jacob Sylvester were the team members.

“Expo Town” won 14th with Austin Beardemphl, Kokoro Terukina and Amber Thatcher

Xenon, fifteenth place, Emily Ding, Veronica Soran, and Umi Terukina placed 15th with “Xeon.”

“Our teams really took a huge step forward this year,” said Sandy Gady, Design and Engineering teacher at the school. “All of their models and essays were exemplary, their presentations were well thought out, and they all looked like professionals. Any one of the teams could have made it to the finals and represented us well.”

Future City is a national competition that builds student skills in applied science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as research, writing, and presentation.

Middle school students compete in teams of three through four phases. They use SimCity 4 Deluxe software to create their futuristic city, identifying basic services and features, zoning, and city infrastructures; write essays; construct a physical model; and present as a team in front of a panel of judges.

Community members contributed to the success of the teams. Peter Sturtevant of CH2MHill was the engineer mentor, and Councilmember Melissa Musser and Des Moines City Manager Tony Piasecki explained to the students how city governments work, plan, and make decisions.

All models will be on display at Pacific Middle School during Science Night on March 6.

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