It was not only an honor, it was fun to be the president of ASCE during this year’s National Engineers Week. Of all the events, at the top was serving as a judge of the national Future City finals in Washington D.C. You know what I mean when I say outreach activities like Future City can feel like a big inspiring, energizing feedback loop, for the young participants and for old pros. When you meet these kids showing a keen interest in engineering, and marvel at the ingenuity of their projects, you feel reassured about our profession’s future. Some of these kids will be carrying out Vision 2025.
At Future City this year, one team that gave us that good feeling turned out to be the first team entry not affiliated with a school in the 20-year history of the competition. The Girl Scouts of Troop 2225 in Modesto, Calif., offered “Vintage Grove,” a creative vision of a city that fully embraced sustainability, where water and wastewater is recycled, residents travel in “orbs,” grass grows on rooftops, trash is recycled to generate heat, and farmland is preserved by being layered. We gave ASCE’s Most Innovative Design of Infrastructure Systems award to Troop 2225 of the Girl Scouts, Modesto, Calif.
The point of Future City is not to consider practical questions, such as ‘how are you going to pay for this’ or ‘how is this going to get built,’ because that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is how wide these young people’s imaginations go.
The troop’s involvement in Future City attracted coverage from their local newspaper. Find out more about these inspiring kids in The Modesto Bee. You never know, in a few years you may be working alongside them.
Did you take part in any Engineers Week-related activities that also gave you that good feeling about the potential next generation of civil engineers? Tell us about them in the comments below.