Jim Albert, Geomatics Manager for LDA Engineering, has just started his third year as a mentor for the Future City Tennessee teams at Carpenters Middle School in Blount County. On Friday, September 7th, prior to the William Blount High School football game, Jim and the Future City team he coached last year, led by teacher KC Haworth, received special recognition by the Blount County School System. They were being honored for winning the 2018 Future City Tennessee competition, which took place in January at UT’s Tickle College of Engineering.
The seven 8thgraders on the team had come up with the team name “Auxilium”, which is a Latin word that means to help, aid, assist, and support. According to Jim, the name was very fitting since the 2018 theme was “The Age-Friendly City”.
To compete in the competition, Team Auxilium had to complete several deliverables over the fall, including designing a virtual city based on the theme, and then building a scaled model of the city out of recycled materials. “The team put in so much hard work, I was happy to see them recognized by their peers,” Jim said.
Not one to slow down after a win, Jim has continued to bring his expertise and enthusiasm to this year’s teams. Once a week Jim and his co-mentor, Shane Snoderly, Senior Civil Engineer with the City of Alcoa, meet with the Carpenters’ teams as they plan and design a city based on the 2018/19 theme of resiliency. A few weeks ago, Jim and Shane took drones out to the school for a demonstration. He noted, “Everyone was so excited and involved. I really enjoy watching people use the drone for the first time. They are always impressed by its capabilities.”
Future City Tennessee is a project-based learning experience where 6th, 7th, and 8thgraders imagine, design, and build cities of the future. If you would like to be a mentor for a local team, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.