International Society of Automation News Release
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
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Twin Cities Section of ISA presents "Best Use of Automation" award to area middle school in conjunction with national engineering competition

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA (30 January 2014)- The Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA) Section of the International Society of Automation (ISA) on 18 January 2014 presented an automation award to Grandview Middle School in Mound, Minnesota in conjunction with a national engineering competition.

For the third year in a row, the Twin Cities Section of ISA presented its award for "Best Use of Automation" at a regional event of the Future City Competition, a national, project-based learning experience where students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades imagine, design and build cities of the future.

A four-member team of students from Grandview Middle School received the automation award for its City of the Future called "Atlantis Central." The award honors the best and most creative use of instrumentation and automation in a building design project.

Grandview Middle School and the other 36 regional event winners of the Future City Competition will compete at the national finals, which will be held 15-18 February 2014 in Washington, DC.  More than 40,000 students from 1,350 middle schools participated in this year's regional competitions.

Twin Cities of ISA presents Best Use of AutomationThe award-winning Grandview Middle School team was comprised of four students. Pictured from left to right are: students Carly Benik, Margo Johnson, Camille Hill, and Kris Kurtz; and Peter Baker, member of the Twin Cities Section of ISA who spearheads the section's Future City Competition award sponsorship.


The annual Future City Competition is one of many nationwide activities and programs associated with 2014 Engineers Week, 16-22 February 2014, which celebrates the value of engineering and encourages young people to explore engineering-related pursuits and education. 

"All of us within ISA's Twin Cities Section are excited to sponsor this award, which we hope will help inspire young students to explore what I believe is the best career field in the world," says Peter Baker, CAP, CTech, an instrumentation and automation consultant who spearheaded the Twin Cities Section's award sponsorship. "We feel strongly that it is our responsibility to help raise awareness among young people of the value and potential of automation and engineering careers. As they say, 'A rising tide lifts all boats.'"

To compete for the award, school teams worked with mentors to plan their cities using SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software; researched and wrote solutions to engineering challenges; built tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and presented their ideas for judging.

Assisting Baker in the judging effort were ISA members Robert Johnson (Twin Cities Section President),  Andy Mobley, CAP,PE,PMP (Twin Cities Section Education Chair), and Kim Hovey, CAP, PE (Twin Cities Section Newsletter Editor).

The national grand prize of the Future City Competition is $7,500 for the winning team's school or after-school's STEM program plus a trip to US Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. The second-place team receives a $5,000 scholarship from the National Society of Professional Engineers Educational Foundation (NSPE) for its organization's STEM program. Third place receives a $2,000 scholarship from IEEE-USA for its organization's STEM program.

2014 Engineers Week and its related programs are sponsored by DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation), a consortium of professional and technical societies and major US corporations focused on promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning among young people and raising public awareness of engineers' positive contributions to quality of life. ISA is a contributing coalition member of DiscoverE.

About ISA

Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation ( is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (