photo of Denver film premier Ashley Waldron Photography
The audience at the Cities of the Future premiere event in Denver gets ready for the movie.

The future has arrived.

Cities of the Future debuts on IMAX and giant screens in select cities this weekend.

ASCE groups in Denver and Pittsburgh were among those throwing parties to celebrate the occasion, Friday night, connecting the film to the civil engineers and especially students in their communities.

“It is my biggest joy to see kids get excited about engineering,” said Becca Falk, the K-12 outreach chair for the ASCE Denver Branch and one of three co-chairs for Friday’s event.

“Their eyes light up, and they get excited about it. It’s just something really cool to see.”

Falk, along with Cassidy Cortright, the ASCE Denver Younger Member Group K-12 outreach lead, and Tasha Neel, Colorado Section Environmental and Water Resource Institute chair, organized the event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The event was so popular it sold out weeks in advance.

Cities of the Future doesn’t officially open at the museum until March 14, but the ASCE group, partnering with several other local engineering organizations, schools, and companies, was able to secure a special screening on Friday night, similar to the launch party younger member Aimee Corn helped set up in Denver seven years ago for ASCE’s first foray into IMAX movies, Dream Big: Engineering Our World.

Friday’s event featured a red carpet, VIP badges, engineering demos for students, a hard-hat decorating table, movie posters to collect autographs on, a local Future City team showcasing their work, and even a liquid-nitrogen ice cream bar.

“I love giving back to the local community and connecting with the next generation,” Falk said. “It’s something that I didn’t really get in my elementary, middle school, or even high school years. I didn’t get a whole lot of exposure to engineering opportunities, especially being a woman in engineering. I mean, it was starting, but it wasn’t something I saw a lot.

“So I just like taking every opportunity I have to reach out to the next generation and let them know that it’s a career opportunity and that engineers come in all shapes and sizes. It’s something I’m passionate about.”

photo of the film launch party organizers Ashley Waldron Photography
The Denver launch party co-chairs, from left, Becca Falk, Cassidy Cortright, and Tasha Neel, enjoy the red carpet.

Cities of the Future, produced by ASCE and MacGillivray Freeman Films, invites audiences to explore the innovations civil engineers are designing now to meet the pressing challenges of a changing world and forge a brighter, more sustainable future.

In Pittsburgh, the film opens this weekend at the Carnegie Science Center. The ASCE Pittsburgh Section felt it was a perfect fit to showcase to the community.

“I feel like this is an important thing for Pittsburgh and especially our students here,” said David DiGioia, the Pittsburgh Section Transportation and Development Institute chair. “Pittsburgh is a technology city. Robotics is big here. And a lot of technologies that go into the cities of the future are occurring right here – autonomous vehicles, Carnegie Mellon research on AI, and other things.

“So, to me, it was a no-brainer. Let’s put some fanfare around this film and get engineering exposure to high school kids and younger students.”

DiGioia worked with ASCE Pittsburgh Section President-Elect Alma Rettinger to set up a VIP event Friday night. The opening reception included local elected leaders and engineers. And the movie itself was free to the public.

“It’s like the next step from Dream Big,” said Rettinger, who also helped lead Pittsburgh events around that film,

“Now it’s like yes, we dream big, and we’re making it happen.”

Learn more about where you can see Cities of the Future.

How can you unlock the potential of the next generation? Send a kid to the future by donating to the ASCE Foundation. Your gift will help to grant free screenings of Cities of the Future to students from underserved communities.