Building the Future: Middle School Team Wins 3rd in State Future City Competition

Morganton, NC, Jan. 30, 2020 – Last Saturday, middle school student from Morganton Day School were in Raleigh for the state Future City competition. After months of research, designing a city model, and developing a creative presentation, the MDS teams brought home three awards. The 7th and 8th grade team won third place overall the speciality award for “Service, Leading, and Solving” and 6th grade team won the speciality award for “Best Waste Management Plan.” 

The Future City competition fully encapsulates the STEAM process as students research a current engineering problem, come up with technological and futuristic innovations, practice implementation using technology and building prototypes, write an essay, develop a presentation, and utilize math and art skills to build a scale model. Teams must use recycled materials and stay within a budget to build their model and ultimately present their project to judges. This year’s challenge was: “Choose a threat to your city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean water.”

The MDS 7th and 8th grade Future City team created the city “Ma’an Naqi” based on Iman, Jordan. The 6th grade team modeled their city “Shadlagana” after Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Using the existing terrain, population, natural disasters, and other challenges, each student team redesigned the city with resilient water supply systems, power grids, and sturdy, energy-efficient infrastructure. They also addressed health, educational, and agricultural concerns.

“Ask and imagine it, then create a plan, make a design and improve it if you can!” sang one MDS student on stage before judges, engineers, parents, teachers, and students. The students were able to confidently present on stage in front of a large audience and have scientific conversations with engineers throughout the judging process. The skills and confidence developed throughout their years at MDS were evident and impressive.  

Morganton Day is committed to education that prepares students to be responsible citizens and future leaders of our global community. Hands-on, inquiry-based learning is an essential part of that education. For more information, come to an Open House at 6pm on Feb. 6th or March 17th, call 828-437-6782, or go to