Grey Nun Academy Students Win Industrial Engineering Award at Future City Competition

Grey Nun Academy Eighth Grade Students Win “P. Robert  Siebeneicher Industrial Engineering Award” for Superior Industrial Design at Future City Competition

Annual STEM Event Challenges Students in the Region to Imagine Cities of the Future

February 14, 2019 (YARDLEY, PA) -- Grey Nun Academy is pleased to announce that several of its eighth grade students were awarded the “P. Robert Siebeneicher Industrial Engineering Award” by the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers, South Jersey/Delaware Valley Chapter for superior industrial design at the region’s annual Future City competition. Held recently at Archbishop Carroll High School, the competition attracted hundreds of students from more than 40 schools in the Greater Philadelphia region.  The winning design by Grey Nun Academy’s team La Fuerza included a water desalination process and the processing and exporting of tidal, wind, and solar energy.  

Students from Grey Nun Academy began work in September on the multi-faceted project in preparation for the January 19th competition. The goal of Future City is to imagine, research, design, and build a city of the future. This year’s challenge was to build an innovative city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster. Participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model built from recycled materials; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at the Regional Competition.

Students began by designing virtual cities on SIM City software. Through the software design phase, they explored the components of city planning and management, including zoning, finance, and maintaining happy citizens. Research and writing a narrative to describe their concept city of La Fuerza followed, which was founded as the result of rebuilding of Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, after a devastating hurricane and earthquake.

After months of planning, designing, and building, students assembled a to-scale 3D model of their city representing its key components. Students then went to competition where they prepared a seven-minute presentation - led by students Lana Beck, Colin Larkin, and Michael Lange.  Fellow teammates Neayla Jones and Sarah Duncan then presented at a two-hour session, showcasing their model and answering questions from visitors and judges. In total, 38 schools from around the region competed.

"Overall, the Future City competition was a great experience for our students,” said David Rad, eighth grade Science teacher at Grey Nun Academy. “Our students were able to learn first-hand the engineering design process and gain experience in collaborative project management. I’m very proud of the work they put into this challenging competition. A special thanks also goes to our parent volunteer Mr. Mike McAtee, who acted as GNA’s Engineering Mentor.” 

About the Future City Competition
Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. The Future City Competition engages more than 40,000 middle school students each year throughout the United States and abroad.

 About Grey Nun Academy
Founded in 1963 by the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, Grey Nun Academy is an independent, Catholic, coeducational, Lower (PreK-5) and Middle school (6-8) in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Academy's mission is to offer an academically rich curriculum that meets the unique needs of individual students while respecting the rights, interests, and dignity of each child. Grey Nun Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and dually accredited by Middle States Association and AdvancED.  The Academy welcomes children of all faiths and cultures. The school's educational process leads children to embrace and promote peace and social justice in our world. To learn more, please visit: or call 215-968-4151.