Pupils hope experience pays off in city-planning contest

An underwater city named Poseidon and an Atlantis theme park are in the future world that A.L. Corbett Middle School pupils are hoping will give them top honors at the Future City regional competition Saturday, Jan. 27, at the University of South Carolina Aiken.


Six pupils and club sponsor Alphonso Jones have spent the past few months creating a model of their new world, including where people live, fuel sources, industries and freshwater sources.

"We thought a lot about the future and what we would like," said Shane Hutto, 13.

The team's domed city is submerged under three miles of water and even has a drive-in theater. Submarines transport supplies in and out of the city.

"Most of the things in the city are chrome and we have forests of coniferous trees," Shane said.

Poseidon shows what life might be like in 150 years.

"With the ozone depleting, we needed somewhere else to live," said Brittany Barwick, 14. "So we decided to go underwater because the heat can't reach underwater."

Brittany and Shane were members of last year's future city project and said previous experience has helped this year, especially when planning for the team's presentation to engineers.

"The first year, we had no idea what we were getting into," Mr. Jones said. "This year, we'll just be more experience presentation wise."

He said pupils will be asked very specific questions about their city, including how many people there are per square foot, how much pressure the plastic glass dome can handle and how the city handles pollution.

All the skills used can be traced back to their math and science classes.

"Many of them may never get to be exposed to this any other way," Mr. Jones said. "The hope is that it will inspire them to become an engineer."

The winning regional team will compete in the Future City National Finals in Washington, D.C., in February. The grand prize is a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.

Reach Julia Sellers at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106 or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com.