Queen of Angels supports parent-coached Future City teams for students in Grades 7 and 8. (Grade 6 can participate with an interview.) Under the guidance Queen of Angels, and coached by a Team Parent in partnership with an Engineering Mentor from the community, teams form as early as May for the following school year but no later than September of the school year of participation.
Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include stormwater management, urban agriculture, public spaces, and green energy. The 2018-2019 theme was Powering Our Future! Teams will design a resilient power grid for their future 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 Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the Finals in Washington, DC in February. After completing Future City, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, but also poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.
The “FIRST” Core Values are the cornerstones of the FIRST LEGO League program. Students learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork. These Core Values are:
- Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
- Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
- Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
- Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
- Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
- Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
Georgia Odyssey is a volunteer run organization that administers the Odyssey of the Mind program and supports participants by conducting workshops and tournaments. Its goal is to provide students the opportunity to practice and develop teamwork, creative problem solving, and life skills.
Odyssey of the Mind promotes 21st Century Thinking skills as it teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and think creatively to solve these problems. Free to express ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism, the creative problem-solving process rewards students for thinking “outside of the box.”
Team members apply creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. The work or the team culminates as they bring solutions to competition on a local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and approximately 25 other countries participate in the program.