Three Bethel Middle School students, Xander Goodwin, Jan Krepsztul, and Henry Specht won first place in the New England Region Future City Competition which was held Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Their city, Hydro Action City, was among 43 teams. In addition to winning first place overall, Hydro Action City, won special awards for Best use of Water Resources, Best Model and the People’s Choice.
The annual Future City Competition for Middle School students held from September 2013 through February 2014 is sponsored in part by DiscoverE, a consortium of professional and technical societies whose mission is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration and volunteerism. In addition, a number of corporate sponsors contribute to the program annually. Students learn a variety of Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) principals. During the Future City Competition, the students worked as a team to design a virtual city using SimCity™ software. They researched a city wide issue and wrote an essay with their findings and solutions. They built a 24"x48" scale model of their city using recycled materials costing no more than $100, and they wrote a brief narrative promoting their city. At the regional competition, they presented their version of the future to a panel of judges. The theme for this year’s research problem was to solve a transportation issue.
Hydro Action City founders (Goodwin, Krepsztul and Specht) invented a transportation system called the Mass Transit Pumper (MTP). This system uses the city’s drinking water infrastructure to move citizens and visitors inside pods. The dual purpose is more efficient, because it propels the pods only with water pressure. The power for the city comes from water wheels in the adjacent St. Lawrence River and exercise equipment, powered by the citizens. The city's inhabitants, who are very healthy and active, run or bike short distances and use the MTP for longer distances. Other innovations created by the team were Crimebot 3.2--a personal crime prevention system, Citizens Collaboration Center--a futuristic library and collaborative innovation center, Lens Vapor Purification—a system to purify water, unique Water Wheels that power the city, Power Bikes to generate power in homes, and Action Care—a personal health monitoring system.
The boys were mentored by their fathers, Mark Goodwin, Pawel Krepsztul, and John Specht.
By winning first place at the regional competition Goodwin, Krepsztul and Specht will be competing at the National Finals held in Washington, DC February 15 – 18, 2014. It is anticipated that 37 regions will be represented in the 4-day national competition, which will result in one team taking home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Alabama and $7,500 for their school’s STEM program (provided by Bentley Systems, Inc).