Indiana Middle School Students Tackle Health Care Crisis at Future City Finals

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Press release from IPFW:

Indiana Middle School Students Tackle Health Care Crisis at Future City Finals

(January 4, 2011) – Can America’s middle schoolers do a better job of tackling our nation’s health care crisis than its politicians? Since the start of the school year, Indiana students have been working hard on their Future City® projects as they address this year’s theme: “Providing a Reliable and Effective Health Care Product or System That Improves a Sick, Injured, or Disabled Patient’s Quality of Life and Comfort.” The students’ health care innovations will be unveiled at the 10th anniversary of the Future City® Indiana Regional at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne’s (IPFW’s) Walb Student Union on Jan. 15, 2011.

Each year, Future City® presents themes that highlight a current issue and asks students to investigate and come up with solutions. Students start with a research essay describing their concept. Last fall, IPFW held a session to help students with their research on medical products and healthcare. Panelists were from Medtronics (Warsaw, Ind.) and Parkview Health (Fort Wayne). The session was aired on College Access TV and was made available to teams statewide on the CATV Web site.

Participating students use SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software to design a virtual Future City 3D map incorporating their ideas, then build a physical model using recycled materials costing no more than $100. The culmination of the project is a team presentation at the regional competition.

At the Indiana regional finals, sponsor Indiana Michigan Power awards gifts cards and medals to finalists and participation gifts to each team member. IPFW offers Education Awards for a free class to the two teachers who guide the first and second place teams.

First-place winners from 35 regional competitions earn a berth in the national finals in Washington, D.C. during National Engineers Week, Feb. 18-22, 2011. The national grand prize is a visit to the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., provided by national finals host Bentley Systems, Incorporated. The second place team receives $5,000 from the National Society of Professional Engineers, and third place wins $2,000 from IEEE-USA for their school’s technology programs.

All teams are guided by a teacher and a mentor. According to Carol Dostal, IPFW College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science outreach director, “The teachers and mentors should all be applauded for their dedicated semester-long support of their teams.”

For more information on judging or mentoring in the Future City Competition, visit,, or contact Carol Dostal at or 260-481-6905.

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