Two Sonoran Science Academy middle school teams took first place in the annual Kidstruction Competition. 

The contest, sponsored by the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Society of Design Administration and American Institute of Architecture, challenges middle-schoolers to design and build an architectural structure using only toothpicks, business cards and glue. 

The event was held at Park Place mall where the winning designs will remain on display through Sunday. More than 100 middle school teams participated. 

This year’s theme, “Shifting Gears: a Futuristic Look at Architecture,” allowed teams to choose from four categories: Park Place Shopping Mall, Transit Center of the Future, Family House of the Future or a Future Entertainment Center.

Sonoran Science Academy’s eighth grade team designed a transit center complete with a monorail electric train, electric buses, and energy efficient helicopter. Their idea was to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and run all vehicles on solar powered electric engines. Team members are Kelynn Campbell, Hisham Alhindawi, Ruben Ornelas, Javier Ramirez, Colin Lorka and Angelica Gonzalez.

The seventh grade team constructed a shopping mall with modern features, including solar windows and roof, and contemporary geometric design elements giving it a futuristic look, enhanced by the large revolving food court on the roof and electric cars and parking shelters. Team members are Erika Kirkpatrick, Paul Morabito, Alexis Leon-Guerrero, Paola Rodriguez, Aberah Qureshi and Sarah Quaraishy.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.