ESD Seeks Future City Mentors At Sept. 29 Meeting

SOUTHFIELD — The Engineering Society of Detroit is seeking volunteer mentors for its Future City middle school science competition, to be held Jan. 25 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

An informal orientation meeting will provide current mentors and those considering serving as a mentor will be held Tuesday, Sept. 29 at ESD headquarters, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450, in Southfield. A light dinner and refreshments will be provided at 4:30 p.m., and the orientation will run from 5 to 7 p.m.

In the orientation, ESD will go over program changes for the upcoming competition, as well as discuss new deliverables that are required this year.

Please RSVP to Allison Marrs at by Wednesday, Sept. 23 if you are planning to attend the orientation.

The ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition is designed to engage students’ interest in math, science, and engineering through real-life, practical and hands-on activities. Future City is a cross-curricular educational program where students work as a team with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a city of the future.

The mentor is an integral part of the Future City team. Mentors spend an hour or two a week between now and January coaching and advising their team. Mentors spend time in the classroom as well as being available by email.

Mentors provide advice, guidance, and technical assistance as their students work on the various project components. In the early weeks, mentors meet with their team to get to know the students and focus them on the big picture: good urban design, an overview of the city description topic, and brainstorming possible solutions. Later, mentors help with the model, teaching the students about scale, and helping them fine-tune their presentation.

People who work in the engineering community are preferred to serve as mentors. This includes engineers, technical professionals, architects, and city or urban planners.

The theme of the 2016 Future City competition is “Waste Not, Want Not.” In this year’s competition, teams will design an innovative citywide solid waste management system for their Future Cities that is safe, environmentally sound, and energy efficient.

To learn more about Future City, visit

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