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Young Engineers Envision Cities Of The Future

Correspondent Tom Bearden reports on a competition of young engineers designing eco-friendly urban centers of the future.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Next, the story of some young engineers with ideas for the cities of tomorrow. NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden has our Science Unit report.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Three students from Gates Intermediate School in Scituate, Mass., minutes away from their final presentation in a national engineering contest.

    They spent six months designing a whole city. And though only in middle school, they already knew more about urban planning than most adults.

    A month earlier, they won the New England regional contest, and now they were in Washington, D.C., with a shot at the national prize.

  • HOST:

    The 17th Annual Future City National Competition, and you are the finalists.

  • STUDENT:

    Just count to "one Mississippi" at any pause.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    A day earlier, the Gates team gathered outside a meeting room door before their first presentation for the finals in Future City, a contest designed to inspire future engineers.

    The challenge was to apply technical and scientific knowledge to design a city of the future, imagine how it would work and what it would be like to live there.

    They had designed "Arbella," an underwater city located on an active fault in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They imagined underwater domes powered by geothermal and hydroelectric sources.

  • STUDENT:

    … on an expedition for dinosaur fossils. When he came to the island…

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Each of the 38 teams made repeated short presentations…

  • STUDENT:

    Haiti, a nation of 9 million people…

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    … and then answered questions from teams of judges.

  • GINA BRAZAO, student:

    So the water pressure comes from an open valve and pushes the pods through. And they come to the different areas, and then — then another tube loops around, and the pods just come back and pick up another person.

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