DiscoverE Future City Competition to Receive 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation


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Release Date: 

October 19th, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Turner Construction Company and the National Building Museum are pleased to announce that DiscoverE and its Future City Competition will receive the 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction. The educational program was selected for its exemplary leadership in engaging young students to learn about and solve complex engineering and building challenges, commitment to diversity, and innovation.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016-17, Future City challenges middle school students to imagine, research, design and build the cities of the future. This year’s theme is The Power of Public Space. Over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools in 37 US regions and four international regions, take part in the Future City® Competition.

Turner Construction Company established the prize—which comes with a $25,000 honorarium—in association with the National Building Museum, to recognize an advancement or high achievement in the process of construction: an invention, an innovative methodology, and/or exemplary leadership.

The prize honorarium helps DiscoverE continue and expand its commitment to diversity and gender equality. 49% of participants in Future City are girls and 33% of participating schools have 50% or more of their students enrolled in their reduced or free lunch program.

The three initiatives within the Future City program that will be supported include:

  • Provide stipends for participation by educators in under-served schools and communities. Qualifying educators in Future City regions Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, New York/Albany, Texas/North and Washington State will receive stipends.
  • Establish a special award for construction innovation among Future City participants. This award will be presented at the Future City Finals in Washington, D.C., in February, 2017.
  • Support an annual Future City Program Handbook used by educators, mentors, and students for STEM-oriented learning.

Members of the Turner Prize jury are A. Eugene Kohn, chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Chris McFadden, vice president, Turner Construction Company; Hal Parmalee, former president, Turner Construction Company; and Jan Tuchman, editor-in-chief, Engineering News-Record.

“DiscoverE is deeply committed to ensuring that our programs are accessible to all students, regardless of gender, socio-economic status or background. The Turner Prize will greatly enhance our ability to serve this diverse spectrum of students,” said Leslie Collins, executive director of DiscoverE. “Through these kinds of transformative collaborations with our partners, we are able to enhance our mission to develop the next generation of engineer innovators, spark the imaginations of middle schoolers, and open their eyes to the potential of the engineering profession.”

The prize will be presented by Peter J. Davoren, president and chief executive officer of Turner Construction, and Chase W. Rynd, president and executive director of the National Building Museum, at the Turner Innovation Summit in Philadelphia, November 2, 2016. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on the Future City Competition, which will include representatives from a Future City school, an educator, a sponsor and a volunteer mentor.

“Engineers solve the world’s problems and the Future City Competition is doing its part to encourage students to make the built environment—and in turn, the world—a better place,” said Chris McFadden, Turner vice president and member of the prize jury. “The program is also strongly aligned with Turner’s own goals for education, which makes it a very natural fit. Future City connects with an incredibly diverse range of students, providing the kind of exciting, hands-on experiences, resources, and mentorship that can make the difference between a student pursuing further education toward a STEM career or not. We’re proud to support and elevate the great work they’re doing by presenting them with the Turner Prize.”

“The Future City Competition is just one of the programs that make DiscoverE a national leader in educating the next generation of engineers and builders, and we hope this deserved prize reinforces their efforts,” said Chase W. Rynd.

Future City is the 14th recipient of the Turner Prize, which has been awarded in the past to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the Engineering Department at Pennsylvania State University, Leslie Robertson, I.M Pei, Charles DeBenedittis, The U.S. Green Building Council, Paul Teicholz, Gehry Partners and Gehry Technologies, Charlie Thornton, Engineers Without Borders – USA, Caterpillar, Inc., Society of Women Engineers, and the Lean Construction Institute.

Media Contacts
DiscoverE: Alan Winnikoff, alan@sayleswinnikoff.com, 212.725.5200, ext. 111
Turner Construction Company: Chris McFadden, cmcfadden@tcco.com, 212.229.6145
National Building Museum: Brett Rodgers, brodgers@nbm.org, 202.272.2448

About DiscoverE and Future City
DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.

Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. The Future City Program serves over 40,000 students annually throughout the United States and abroad. The program proudly supports a great number of underserved communities. Students repeatedly report that the program increases their motivation and excitement about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In addition, students and teachers report a marked improvement in students’ 21st Century skills.

About Turner Construction Company Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company. Founded in 1902, Turner first made its mark on the industry pioneering the use of steel-reinforced concrete for general building, which enabled the company to deliver safer, stronger, and more efficient buildings to clients. The company continues to embrace emerging technologies and offers an increasingly diverse set of services. an annual construction volume of $11 billion, Turner is the largest builder in the United States, ranking first in the major market segments of the building construction field, including healthcare, education, sports, commercial, and green building. The firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, one of the world’s leading international construction service providers. For more information please visit www.turnerconstruction.com.

About the National Building Museum
The National Building Museum is America's leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org. Follow us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NationalBuildingMuseum.