Return to Headlines

Kennedy Middle Students Claim Multiple Awards During 2020 Regional Future City Competition

Kennedy Middle School students Alex Trippi, Cody Goldschmidt, and Aaron Arnold felt pretty confident in both their model and their preparation heading into the Saturday, January 25, 2020, S.C. Regional Future City Competition held on campus at the University of South Carolina Aiken. The theme for the 2020 competition was “Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow.”

They had every reason to feel confident, as their model and presentations were outstanding.

In fierce competition, they ended the day standing on the main stage competing as one of three elite teams hoping to land a coveted spot in the 2020 Future City National Finals Competition in Washington, D.C. The three young men delivered an outstanding presentation for the judges, but eventually placed second, a notable accomplishment which continues Kennedy Middle’s run of excellence at the competition in recent years.

“It was just good teamwork and encouragement as we worked on everything,” stated Klin Wara team member Cody Goldschmidt. “Also, we incorporated a fusion reactor in our design and no one else had that.”

“When they announced we were one of the final three teams in the competition that was just the coolest thing,” commented team member Aaron Arnold. “We worked really hard and were very organized.”

“Being interviewed by the news was also cool,” added team member Alex Trippi.

Goldschmidt, Arnold and Trippi also credited their participation in other activities such as First Lego League and school drama performances with helping to elevate their Future City Performance.

A team from Kennedy Middle captured the Future City regional championship two years ago, and in addition to Team Klin Wara’s second-place finish, the school’s Team Ganjing Tuklimpia placed fifth overall and earned an Honorable Mention Award during the 2020 competition. Kennedy Middle’s third Future City team, Team Karoda, also won a pair of Future City awards.

For Kennedy Middle School Future City teacher Margo Gore, it has been a tremendous run of success in Future City competition. Her teams were supported each step of the way this year by mentor Fred Beranek.

“I don’t know what the secret is, but these students are excited and they want to do well,” stated Gore. “It takes a lot of time to do this, but the kids are awesome. Each of our teams had their own spin on the theme and it was good to see their ideas go in different directions.”

Additional 2020 competition winners included "Best Water Treatment Process" (Kennedy Middle Team - Ganjing Tuklimpia); "Best Energy System" (Kennedy Middle - Team Karoda); "Best Use of Nuclear Technology" (Kennedy Middle - Team Klin Wara): Judges' Award for "Unique concept for Protection of Water Sources" (Kennedy Middle - Team Karoda); "Excellence Through Quality" (Schofield Middle - Team Hydro-Town); "Best Land Surveying Practices Award" (Leavelle McCampbell Middle - Team Rockville); and "Best Essay" (Kennedy Middle - Team Klin Wara).

Other ACPSD participants in the 2020 competition included Aiken Intermediate teams Agua City, Agukah, Amfibiese, Citta Atlantica, and Wasserville; Team Cloud9 from Jackson STEM Middle Magnet School; LBC Middle School teams Handover, Mars Lunar Colony, Riptide, and Sunny Villa; and Team Oclia from Paul Knox Middle School.

Former Future City Regional Champion Julia Spieker, who was part of North Augusta Middle School’s winning “Team Jasaka” in 2009, served for the first time as one of the final round competition judges during the 2020 competition. She was also honored as the South Carolina Region of Future City’s Alumnus of the Year.

“When you are here as a competitor you’re only thinking about your city, your presentation and what you are going to be saying, but as a judge you have the opportunity to see many different approaches the kids take, and how creative they are in coming up with some of their solutions to problems,” commented Spieker.


ACPSD Communications Department