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Youth earn honors, cash with designs for conference contest

Nebraska Engineering’s "Building the 22nd Century" Conference gathered thought leaders including Google’s Ray Kurzweil and former U.S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, as well as area K-12 students’ ideas for the future built environment.

The College of Engineering contest challenged youth in elementary, middle school and high school age groups to use their imagination and design posters or build models to envision cities or structures in the next century.

“The students’ approaches were surprisingly positive in addressing challenges such as dwindling resources and increasing human population,” said Ece Erdogmus, associate professor with the college’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, who coordinated the competition. Judging was done by a faculty panel and through audience favorite balloting by conference attendees.

Dean Tim Wei greeted a contest participant, Connor Jolley, who visited the conference's last day (when judging had concluded). Jolley said he enjoyed the contest's opportunity to apply his perspective to solve problems in the future, and he plans to pursue a career in engineering.

Winners in each age division earned cash prizes up to $100, plus $1,000 school stipends (first place in each category) to be used for science, math and pre-engineering classes or programming. Contest winners were:

1st place, grades 9-12

1ST: Best Design & Audience Favorite--Erick Hernandez and Megan Holley (12th Grade - Omaha North High Magnet School)
2ND: Suhail Naddimulla (11th Grade - Westside High School)
3RD: Connor Jolley (9th Grade - Millard North High School)
Audience Favorite Runner-up: Edmon Aljuboori (10th Grade - Westside High School)

Tom Frederick wins $1,000 prize in Quick Pitch competition

1ST: Best Design & Audience Favorite Runner-up: Mary Steil and Jordan Winquest (7th Grade - All Saints Catholic School)
2ND: Model #20 (bridge) - Nate Rider and Max Dams (8th Grade - McMillan Magnet Center)
3RD: Jacob Idra (8th Grade - All Saints Catholic School)
Audience Favorite: Kathryn Burbach, Jamie Sutula, Hallie Uhlig (8th Grade - McMillan Magnet Center



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