Students from Grey Nun Academy (GNA), an independent, Catholic, coeducational elementary school in Bucks County, PA, were awarded Honorable Mention at the recent Philadelphia regional Future City competition held at Archbishop Carroll High School. The Grey Nun Academy team, comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, was one of six finalists out of 36 participating teams.
Founded in 1963 by the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, Grey Nun Academy is an independent, Catholic, coeducational, elementary school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for students in prek3 to eighth grades.
Each year, the Future City competition focuses on a specific engineering design challenge currently facing real cities. Students brainstorm problems and solutions, test theories, and learn about the design/build phase based on information they gather throughout the process.
“Of the 75 teams that have participated in the Philadelphia Regional Future City Competition over the past 8 years (when Grey Nun Academy started participating), only 17 schools have appeared in the Finals. Only 10 schools have appeared more than once. Grey Nun Academy has now appeared in the finals three times in that time period,” said Mike McAtee, parent leader and professional engineer. “All the more reason to be proud of what our kids accomplished this weekend!”
Led by teachers Kim Franzon and Joe Wilker and parent Mike McAtee, the team created a prototype for a future city based on this year’s theme: The Power of Public Space. Students proposed environmentally friendly ways to use public space to produce energy in the fictional city of Merluxe, that included recycling garbage and nuclear waste, use of robots for collection of waste, and bicycles that produce clean energy when driven.
“We are so proud of our Grey Nun Academy students for bringing home such a distinction as Honorable Mention. The whole team did an amazing job!” said Deborah Kost, Head of School. “It is a wonderful enhancement to our STEM program because students develop an understanding of critical thinking and in-depth research, confidence in public speaking skills, and also learn how they can make a difference in their communities,” she added.
The Future Cities team will present their city to the younger students in the school to spark interest in the topics covered and to ensure that Grey Nun Academy will continue to succeed in the Future Cities competition in years to come.