Return to Headlines

Students win prize in engineering contest

Mateo Papa, William Lavender and Parker Morris.

Three Lowe Elementary 4th-graders designed a futuristic city on Mars and won an engineering award for their creation. The model is now on display at the school.

 

The “Electrify Your Future” contest is hosted by Future City, which is a hands-on, cross-curricular educational program with a goal to bring STEM to life. They asked contestants to design a 100% electrically powered city using energy generated from sources that will keep its citizens healthy and the environment safe.

 

With their Martian city powered by solar panels, the student engineering team of William Lavender, Parker Morris and Mateo Papa won the award for Most Sustainable Renewable Energy Source.

 

According to parent sponsor, Rachel Lavender, there were hundreds of models at the competition.

 

“All the students imagine, research, design and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue,” she said. “It allowed students to do what engineers do.”

 

The award came with a $100 prize that can be put toward a STEM program at Princeton ISD.

 

“I am so proud of the kids,” she said. “They met after school at PHS for the past few months working on their essay and model for the contest. They titled it, ‘Princeton.’”

 

The students, who used the Engineering Design Process (EDP) and project management skills, also had guidance from PHS engineering teacher Nedal Jarbou.

The judges review the Princeton model during the contest.

“I liked getting to think about what cities would look like in 100 years and build our ideas,” Mateo said. “It was hard to sort things through to see if we could include it when we created our model.”

The model showcased their innovative solution for renewable energy.

“I like that we won for best sustainable energy,” Parker said. “But the coolest part was getting to do paper mache for the first time. We made our rock formations on Mars with paper mache, which is just watery glue and paper strips. But after a week, when it dries, it’s solid as rock.”

William said the highlight was winning the award and accepting it on the stage, and that was worth the most tedious task required during the process.

“The most difficult part of the project was gluing all the little windows on the building,” he said. “But I enjoyed getting to know the other kids and building the city with them.”

Parker and William show off their blue ribbon.