Tonawanda News — Middle school students from across Western New York were asked to envision “Tomorrow’s Transit: Design A Way to Move People in and Around Your City” at the regional finals of the Future City competition hosted at Mount St. Mary Academy in Kenmore Jan. 25.
Two area schools were among the 15 schools entered in the competition, St. Francis of Assisi in the City of Tonawanda and St. Christopher’s School in the Town of Tonawanda.
Preliminary judging started at 10 a.m. with a panel of engineers checking each display and questioning each school’s team. Each team had to present an essay on the topic prior to the final judging day.
About 200 students and parents attended the event.
St. Francis school was selected as one of the five finalists and in an afternoon session in the auditorium, showed the Future City model, presented a narrative and answered questions from the panel of judges before the audience.
St. Francis finished second winning $1,000 for the school. First place was awarded to the Alternative School for Math and Science in Corning.
In addition, St. Francis received three special awards.
Most inspiring essay/city narrative sponsored by Daemen College won $200. The MSM students favorite award brought the school $100.
The school also placed third in Best Land Surveying Practices, sponsored by National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
Mark Bajorek, a project manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff, a multinational engineering and design firm with offices in Buffalo, was the engineer-mentor for St. Francis. He has helped the St. Francis Future City team since 1996.
St. Francis team members are Cade Mongielo, Jacob Neumeister and Favorlyn Kpaka, who presented the project, and Alex Patkalitsky Maddie Sowinski, Charlie DeRose, Adam Gorski, Lillie Strusienski, Connor Wolbert, Thomas McMahon, Brian Dyell, Kaitlyn Annunziata, Raymond Mezydio, Trevor Davis and Josh Grass.