In January three students from Indian Valley’s Project Lead the Way program, with the support of their teacher Mrs. MarilynKramer and Lauren engineers Aaron Kochman and Frankie Saho traveled to Columbus to participate in the Future City Competition. Eighth-graders Marissa Enos, Logan Ridgway and Courtney Leggett presented their project model through several rounds of judging in four phases: Design, Build, Write and Present. The Competition required the team to use their creativity, ingenuity, and, above all, their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to perform the specific tasks. The most exciting of which was to construct a scale model of a city as it might exist 100 years from now; a “real” Future City that uses student-envisioned scientific and technological breakthroughs to meet its citizens’ needs.
The Future City Competition is a national program sponsored by the engineering community to promote an interest in technology and engineering to middle school students through hands-on, real world applications. The competition is open to seventh and eighth grade students in public, private and parochial schools within participating regions of the US. Regional winners compete in the national finals, a featured event during National Engineers Week. The competition is team based, with each team comprised of three students, a teacher sponsor and an engineer mentor.
The team finished 10th in the state, which is a very big honor. “As first time competitors the team was elated with their placement”, said Mrs. Kramer. “All team members used their personal time outside of regular school hours to participate in this project, the dedication put forth by everyone involved was remarkable” said Kramer.
Lauren International has partnered with the Indian Valley Local School District to assist with the district’s Project Lead the Way initiative, a curriculum that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. Lauren, a supporter of local education programs, became involved because of its strong belief in the need to expose more students to the profession of engineering.
“We’re proud to support Indian Valley’s engineering technology programs,” said Kevin Gray, President and CEO of Lauren International. “Our involvement will help our community’s students determine if engineering may be the right choice for them as they look at various college degree programs. It will also help the students excel in other academic endeavors as well as help these same students later in life.”
Lauren will support the school’s engineering technology programs to ensure that students receive training in current technology. The same software and equipment that is being used in the industry will be utilized in the classroom. This program will include significant hands-on activity as well as teaching the students to work in teams.
“Our students at Indian Valley can now take courses in engineering and be in classrooms where learning comes alive each day. In these classes students learn by working independently and in groups by doing hands on assignments where they can see the product of their work. Without the support of Lauren International none of this could be possible. Many students learn better in environments where they use their hands, Lauren has made this possible for our students and we are extremely grateful”, said Superintendent Randy Cadle.