Graves County 4-H Engineering Club places first among 46 competitors in Future City regional; advances to nationals

The Graves County 4-H Engineering Club returned from the 2017-2018 Future City competition in mid-January with a first place award in the regional contest. The group placed first among 46 competitors and will represent Kentucky in the national contest in Washington, D.C., Feb. 19-20. In addition to the regional title, the 4-H team won the American Association of Retired Persons Excellence Award and Best Essay.  

The Graves County group includes students Kayla Aldridge, (Graves County Middle School), Jenna Shupe (Fancy Farm Elementary), Lexie Mathis (GCMS), Madie Alderdice (Wingo Elementary), Connor Thomas (GCMS) along with team mentors, Isabella Byassee (Graves County High School), Levi Kelley (Graves High), Keaton Looper (Graves High) and coaches Tracey Tashjian, and Sam Anderson, county extension agents.

Future City is a project-based learning program where students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades imagine, research, design, and build a city that will exist at least 100 years in the future. This year's theme, "The Age Friendly City," requires students to envision an urban environment that keeps older adults active, engaged, and independent while incorporating engineering ideas that would revitalize their city's economy, reduce crime, promote safety, improve the environment and enhance civic engagement. The group began working in June to present their vision of the future through a virtual city design (using SimCity software); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); a presentation along with a question/answer session with a panel of Science/Technology/Engineering/Math professionals.   

Future City is a nationally-sponsored competition for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders that puts its student competitors in real world situations and asks them to be the problem-solvers as they brainstorm ideas and design solutions. For more information about Future City and other 4-H activities, please contact Tracey Tashjian at 270-247-2334. 

Pictured, from left, are Madie Alderdice, Kayla Aldridge, Lexie Mathis, Jenna Shupe and Connor Thomas.

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