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:
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:
Other participating teams included:
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.