In partnership with Ford STEAM Experience, we challenged parents to team up with their kids to design a solution to help make future cities more accessible and efficient. Engineers at Ford are currently working on developing an array of smart mobility solutions that will positively impact people in the cities of tomorrow, and we wanted to hear your ideas too!
Now, the results are in! These smart young innovators will win one of three scholarship prizes, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. And the Grand Prize winner, in addition to a scholarship prize, will receive a Ford STEAM Experience in the city where Ford innovations are developed, Dearborn, MI.
Thank you to all those who got creative with us for the Ford City of Tomorrow Challenge. With so many innovative designs to help make future cities better, it was a close race!
Congratulations to the Top 3 winners!
Grand Prize Winner
Submission by: Colin Miller, 8 years old, 3rd grade
The City of Wind: “The city of the future will have electric cars. But what happens when the power goes out? My solution would be to build giant windmills on top of buildings. But big windmills kill birds when they fly into them. I would build rings around them and put a screen on the front and back of the rings. The windmills would send electricity to big batteries under the road to power the cars and trucks of the future. I call my model the City of Wind.”
Second Place Winner
Submission by: Zander Stoy, 10 years old, 4th grade
The Slyder: “What is a problem facing our cities right now? Lack of parking. The “Slyder” fixes that problem. (Sly as in sneaky and it slides.) The Slyder can fold in half its size so it only takes up half of a parking space. This prototype is for a minivan that can fold up into half its size. (Like a slide on a camper goes back and forth.) Not only does it use less space, it can hold more people because it is a van. The walls are hollow so that the back half can slide into the front half. This would be great for ride-sharing. It would drive like a regular minivan. I used cardboard, tape, and toothpicks to make my prototype.”
Third Place Winner
Submission by: Ethan Bialis, 9 years old, 4th grade
PEDAL: “This is the Pedal Electric Dual Assist Launcher (PEDAL) car. It is just what the name suggests. It is a pedal assist electric vehicle where the passengers all have removable pedals that cannot only connect via a belt drive to help the car get going faster, but can also pedal to charge the battery stored in the back. his will solve the old problem of being bored in the car because kids can pedal away the hours in the back seat. The belt drives are quieter and more reliable than chains with less maintenance. The pedals are removable if you were to have someone that was not interested in pedaling. This car will extend the range of electric cars since you can use pedal power to recharge the electric motor while you are riding along. Electric cars are the best for the environment since they have very low emissions. Having the pedals connect to the battery is the most important part, but in town, you could use the pedals to help the car get going from red lights and stop lights to save as much of the electricity as possible. The prototype I built is made from popsicle sticks and hot glue with rubber bands around the wheel axels to illustrate the belt drives. The pedals rotate.”
Though the Ford City of Tomorrow™ Challenge is over, we hope you’ll continue to be curious and creative explorers who never stop striving to make the world a better and more sustainable place in which to live.