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Environment, STEM

Student Team From Veritas Homeschoolers Heading to National Future City Competition

Phoenix, AZ: Team Veritas Ville won the Future City Competition Arizona Region on January 23, 2016. Going to Disney Land, however, is not their next destination point. In fact, being selected as the 1st place region winner is not the end of the competition. Planning activities have been in the works for the last year as sponsors and professional engineering societies prepare to host the National Future City Competition in our nation’s capital on February 14-16, 2016.


Team Veritas Ville with the 3-D model of a section of their City of Alegria. Left to right: Adriana Baniecki, Jeremy Graunke, and Madyison Nichols


Since winning the region competition, team members Adriana Baniecki, Madyison Nichols, and Jeremy Graunke have been reviewing their notes, practicing their oral presentation, refining answers to existing questions and thinking of every potential question that professional society and national competition judges may ask them about their city that is designed 150 years into the future.

Each year, the National Future City Competition selects a real-world issue for participating student teams to research and develop workable solutions. Alegria is the new name for the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They have designed a city that has overcome a number of key social and environmental challenges that are being wrestled with today including attempts to clean up Guanabara Bay with its polluted waters and massive amounts of trash in time for the Summer 2016 Olympics.

Solid waste is mostly an urban phenomenon. In rural communities there are fewer packaged products, less food waste and less manufacturing. A city resident generates twice as much waste as their rural counterpart of the same affluence. If we account for the fact that urban citizens are usually richer, they generate four times as much. [Ref 1] Waste management is a big problem, and it is only going to get bigger. Hoornweg et. al, warn that without drastic action, population growth and urbanization will outpace waste reduction.

Since winning the Arizona Region competition, Veritas Ville team members have been spending an average of two hours each day preparing for the national competition. They also met earlier with members of the Arizona Region Planning Committee for a very detailed question and answer session about their future city and to get additional information to help them prepare for the national competition.

One thing that Team Veritas Ville won’t have to worry about is their 3-D model showing up on time. Fed-X has already confirmed that it arrived in Washington, DC. In addition to competition related activities, team members and their family members plan to visit the National History Museum, take a tour of The Capitol Building, and do some sight-seeing in the area.

Perhaps a bigger challenge than prepping for the national finals is figuring out what to take on a trip to the east coast when the highs in Phoenix this week have climbed into the 80s on the Fahrenheit scale, and the expected highs for local temperatures in the Washington Metropolitan Area this weekend are projected to be in the 20s. More specifically, 21 degrees Fahrenheit is the forecasted high for Saturday, February 13th. However, past history shows that weather conditions don’t seem to matter much to our students because of the excitement associated with the national competition, and other activities that they may possibly engage in.

The national competition is held in Washington, DC and is similar in format to the region competition. The 1st place team in each region advances to the national competition. Each region’s team expenses for airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals are picked up by the national competition.

The top prize at the National Finals is $7,500 for the winning team’s STEM program plus a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, AL for team members. The 2nd runner up team will be awarded $5,000 for their STEM program. An award of $2,000 will be presented to the 3rd place team for their STEM program, and 4th and 5th place teams will each receive $750 from Ohio University and CH2M Hill, respectively, for their STEM programs.

Team Veritas Ville departs this Friday, February 12, 2016 for the national finals and will return on Wednesday of next week.

We wish our team success at the national competition, and a memorable shared experience that few middle school students have the opportunity to participate in. Check our FaceBook page, Future City Arizona, for team updates at the national competition.

Additional information about the National Future City Competition can be found at www.futurecity.org and www.futurecityarizona.org.


  1. Environment: Waste production must peak this century, by Daniel Hoornweg, Perinaz Bhada-Tata, and Chris Kennedy for Nature, October 30, 2013, http://www.nature.com/news/environment-waste-production-must-peak-this-century-1.14032

About the Future City Competition: The Future City Competition is a national program for middle school students. It is sponsored by the engineering community to promote and grow a dynamic engineering profession critical to public health, safety, and welfare. The program promotes math, science, and engineering through hands-on, real world applications and is open to all public, private and parochial schools. The National Finals of the Future City Competition are a featured event during National Engineers Week with students from across the country competing in Washington, D.C. for awards and prizes. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences, and making science and math relevant.

[Post Note: The content for this post was also developed as a news release.]


About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


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