HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --On Saturday, 23 teams of Alabama middle schoolers competed at the Future City competition regional finals using their unique abilities to contribute to our future. The students came up with table-sized models of future cities using recyclable materials. They then had to present and defend their cities to a panel of judges.
Jared Gentil and his teammates from Central School are just some of the 40,000 students involved in the Future City competition across the country.
"We stayed up all night doing this, we absolutely love this," said Gentil.
Regional Coordinator Sonya Dillard thinks the main attraction for students is the hands on learning experience that gets their creativity flowing.
"They get to go outside of the regular classroom training, and they get to actually cut, saw, paint, dig in, use Legos. It's just exciting all the way around," said Dillard.
Eighth grader Lauren Overton said her favorite part is the friendships she built while building their city.
"I'm going to definitely take away team work, and how to be patient with other people when teaching them, or learning from others," she said.
This is the third year eighth grader Samuel Becdach has competed. He said he loves Future City because it's someplace he can come up with ideas, and actually implement them.
"I think that a lot of kids are interested because it's a way to show off what they can do, because really like at school we just learn. We don't get to show off a ton," he said.
But at Future City you actually get to see just what these kids can do, and it's pretty amazing. One day we might even be living in something they've come up with.
The first place team from Saturday's regional finals wins an all expenses paid trip to the national finals in Washington D.C in February. Last year, an Alabama team took home the grand prize.