St. Patrick’s of Pasco, Wa. wins surveying award at Future City finals

St. Patrick’s of Pasco, Wa., the winning team for Best Surveying Practices, with judge Gary Thompson, P.L.S.

At this year’s Future City Competition finals, held February 18–22 in Washington, D.C., the team from St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Pasco, Washington, won the Best Land Surveying Practices Award, sponsored by NCEES. The team from Pasco competed against more than 33,000 students from middle schools across the country. Thirty-five regional winners were represented at the finals.

As a longtime sponsor of the competition, NCEES was represented at the event’s finals by Martin Pedersen, L.S., a past president, and Gary Thompson, P.L.S., North Carolina board member and chair of the Committee on Examinations for Professional Surveyors. Pedersen and Thompson were judges for the Best Land Surveying Practices Award.

For Pedersen and Thompson, the Future City Competition was a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of surveying while introducing the idea of surveying as a career to some of the nation’s brightest students.

“Surveying plays a big part in developing a city, so we’re happy to share what we do with these students,” said Thompson. “They come away from this knowing what a professional surveyor does, and the teachers and mentors can share that with students in future competitions.”

Since it began 19 years ago, the Future City Competition has been one of the highlights of National Engineers Week. Aimed at students in grades 6–8, the program is designed to spark interest in math, science, and engineering.

Teams feature students working with teachers and volunteer engineer mentors to design models-using both computer software and physical materials-of their vision of a future city based on a given theme. This year’s theme was “Provide a reliable and effective health care product or system that improves a sick, injured, or disabled patient’s quality of life and comfort.” The overall winner of the Future City Competition was the team from Our Lady Help of Christians School in Abington, Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Future City Competition, visit