MyVirtualCity Competition 2013!

 

mvc13-winners

 

The Future of Belize experienced through the minds of innovative students!
2nd Annual My Virtual City Competition: “Redesigning Belize for Our Future!”
Total Business Solutions Limited, the local distributor of Esri Inc., hosted the 2nd Annual “My Virtual City” Competition and Exhibition on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at the Princess Hotel in Belize City.Guided by the theme “Redesigning Belize for our Future!” the Competition challenged primary and high school students to imagine, design, and IMPROVE an existing city or municipality in Belize.  The goal of the “My Virtual City” competition was to create awareness and ignite the imagination of the younger generation about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how they can be used for problem solving, planning, and overall improvement of communities, especially Belize.“This year we are challenging the students, standard four through to fourth form, to redesign a current municipality. Choose one of the nine municipalities in the country, look at the issues being faced and propose solutions using GIS technology and 3D technology as well…also looking at the millennium development goals; we are looking at development standards. So it is more than technology; it is also about creating awareness of development standards for our country and globally.  First there is a narrative that just briefly state which city they are redesigning and what they are going to do. The part two is an essay which is the entire plan of their city. And then there is the technology side, the most challenging side. They had to use ArcGIS, which is a tool used by many companies in Belize to get work done using GIS tools.” Loretta Palacio, Managing Director of TBSL.

While the MVC Competition was launched as part of World GIS Day in November 2012, the competition moved into full gear in March 2013. To assist the nineteen (19) participating teams with their projects, TBSL hosted six weeks of training to prepare the students for the competition. Training presenters included TBSL staff members; Mr. Froylan Alvarado, Architect and Urban Planner and Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City.  While the students were instructed on the basics of city planning and Esri software (ArcGIS and City Engine) to design their cities, the creativity was their own.

After months of hard work, the “My Virtual City” Competition and Exhibition on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at the Princess Hotel in Belize City, featured just 5 primary and 5 high school teams from Belize Elementary School, Horizon Academy, EP Yorke High School, Belize High School, St. Catherine’s Academy and St. John’s College.  Through their essays, virtual city design, and presentation; students demonstrated:

  • How to use geographic information systems (GIS) for analysis, planning, and decision making
  • Writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Research and proposed solutions to engineering, environmental, social and safety challenges
  • Understanding of the social dynamics of their communities and become better citizens and leaders
  • Understanding of the UNDP’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Strong teamwork skills

While this competition was first and foremost a project-based experience, there were also wonderful prizes presented at the Award Ceremony that followed the competition. Prior to the award presentations, Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City gave a Keynote Address to the awaiting students. The following winners were announced and prizes awarded:

Category Award Primary School Winner High School Winner
1st Place Laptops, Courtesy of Ministry of Education Team Dream
Maria Sofia Veira, Cam’ron Mcfadzean (Horizon Academy)
Team Asgard
Rebecca Bradley, Isake Perez (St. Catherine’s Academy)
2nd Place Tablets, Courtesy of Belize Bank Team Jakiro
Jordan Campbell
Taylor Bradley, Juliana Ramos (Belize Elementary School)
Team Goldson
Christian Burns, Marco Ayala
Asher Mendoza, Jaime Ayala (Edward P. Yorke)
3rd Place Cell Phones, Courtesy of BTL and SMART Team Serene
Yash Pagarani, Adrian Leslie
Valentina Noguera, Amber Shi (Belize Elementary School)
Team Sanctuary
Enrique Ayuso, Marco Soler
Yan Cattouse, Xiaodong Yan (St. John’s College)
Best Teamwork $50 Gift Certificate, Courtesy of Santiago Castillo Team Jakiro
Jordan Campbell,
Taylor Bradley, Juliana Ramos (Belize Elementary School)
Team Asgard
Rebecca Bradley, Isake Perez (St. Catherine’s Academy)
Best City Layout Esri City Engine License, Courtesy of Esri Team Dream
Maria Sofia Veira, Cam’ron Mcfadzean (Horizon Academy)
Team Asgard
Rebecca Bradley, Isake Perez (St. Catherine’s Academy)
Best Use Of Esri Software GIS Book, Courtesy of Esri Team Dream
Maria Sofia Veira, Cam’ron Mcfadzean (Horizon Academy)
Team Asgard
Rebecca Bradley, Isake Perez (St. Catherine’s Academy)
Best Supportive Schools $500 Cash, Courtesy of TBSL Horizon Academy St. John’s College
Best Incorporation of MDGs (School Award) 3-IN-1  Copier, Courtesy of UNDP Team Dream
Maria Sofia Veira, Cam’ron Mcfadzean (Horizon Academy)
Team Asgard
Rebecca Bradley, Isake Perez (St. Catherine’s Academy)
Outstanding Presentation (Individual Awards) $50 Gift Certificate, Courtesy of Santiago Castillo Quincy Campbell(Belize Elementary School) Mia Miles
(Belize High School) Christian Burns (Edward P. Yorke)

Other participating teams included:

  • Team Metro Phoenix: Quincy Campbell, Edoardo Sosa, Xavissa Molina (Belize Elementary School)
  • Team Peace:  Zoe Tillett, Isaiah Sanchez, Moriah Sutherland (Horizon Academy)   
  • Team Amar: Ankit Chandwani, Mia Paige-Miles, Annie Ponce (Belize High School)
  • Team Utopia: Xiowen Huang, Xiochuan Huang, Aaron Huang, Omar Amjad (Edward P. Yorke)

A special thank you to the students, parents, mentors, sponsors, and supporters for embracing this project which will help to develop our younger generation to become strategic decision makers who understand how planning and decisions impact our lifestyle, community, nation and world. This competition was part of TBSL’s aim to develop a long term GIS in Education program to create GIS awareness and to teach our students to better understand our world through geospatial technology.