Rochester team wins ESD Future City competition

NOVI — It was a return to form Monday at the Michigan Regional Competition of the Future City science program for middle schoolers, produced by The Engineering Society of Detroit.

A team from St. John Lutheran School of Rochester won the competition. St. John had won the state title in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Finishing second Monday was St. Valentine Catholic School in Redford Township, which won the state championship last year.

Finishing third was Team Josea Island from Trinity Lutheran School in Utica. Fourth place went to Geisler Middle School of Warren, while fifth went to Navigator Upper Elementary School of Pinckney.

Celebrating its 27th anniversary nationally and its 23rd in Michigan under ESD sponsorship, Future City is a project-based learning program that challenges students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades to imagine, research, design and build the cities set at least 150 years in the future.

The students design a city organized around a theme that changes every year to keep the competition fresh. They must build a scale model of their city on a budget of under $100, develop written and oral presentations on their cities, and “play” the city in the Sim City computer game — all aspects that count toward their final score.

The program proudly supports a great number of underserved communities. And students repeatedly report that the program increases their motivation and excitement about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

This year’s competition was titled “The Age-Friendly City,” and asked participants to identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and engineer two innovative solutions that allow their future city’s senior citizens to be as active and independent as they want to be.

The presenting sponsor of Future City in Detroit is the DTE Energy Foundation and the major sponsor is the Ford Motor Co. Fund.

St. John now goes on to the Future City national championship in Washington, D.C., Feb. 17-20. The event is held in conjunction with National Engineers Week in the nation’s capital. St. John won the national championship in 2015 and 2016.

More than 20 special awards were also awarded to teams judged to have the best performance on specific parts of the competition. Winners were as follows:

Robot building project: International Technology Academy, Pontiac

Architectural engineering of an integrated, high performing city, sponsored by Lawrence Technological University: Navigator Upper Elementary

ASQ quality improvement award, sponsored by the American Society for Quality, Greater Detroit Section 1000: St. Valentine Catholic School

Best city for people with disabilities, sponsored by the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America: St. John Lutheran School

Best communication system, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, Detroit Professional Section: Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Detroit

Best engineered project, sponsored by NTH Consultants Ltd.: STEM Middle School of Dearborn Public Schools Team 2, Stemdire

Best futuristic transportation, sponsored by DENSO International America Inc.: Agnes E. Beer Middle School, Warren

Best land surveying practices, sponsored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying: Trinity Lutheran School Team 1, “La Faviere,” Utica

Best project plan, sponsored by the Project Management Institute Great Lakes Chapter: Sarah Banks Middle School Team 1, “Generations,” Wixom

Best schoolhouse, sponsored by the Eastern Michigan University College of Technology: Sarah Banks Middle School Team 3, “Young Banks,” Wixom

Best use of alternative or renewable fuels, sponsored by Durr Systems Inc.: Mayville Middle School, Mayville

Best use of energy, sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation: DeWitt Junior High School, DeWitt

Best use of green principles, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, Detroit Regional Chapter, Green Schools Committee: Sarah Banks Middle School Team 3, “Young Banks,” Wixom

Best use of materials, sponsored by ASM International Detroit Chapter: STEM Middle School of Dearborn Public Schools Team 1, “Sky City”

Best waste management and recycling, sponsored by the East Michigan Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association and Waste Management Inc.: Mayville Middle School, Mayville

Building a world of difference award, sponsored by Black & Veach: 4-H M-Years Farwell Youth Association, Detroit

Innovative sustainability award, sponsored by the University of Detroit Mercy: Trinity Lutheran School Team 2, “Josea Island,” Utica

Building with the American spirit: people, projects and community award, sponsored by Barton Malow Co.: Herbison Woods School Team 2, “Terrific Trio,” DeWitt

Herbert W. Link visionary award, sponsored by Link Engineering Co.: DeWitt Junior High School, DeWitt

Incorporation of plastic materials award, sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers, Detroit Section: Defer Elementary School, Grosse Pointe Park

Most healthy community award, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan: University Prep Science & Math Middle School, Detroit, Team 1

Most sustainable food production award, sponsored by the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers: Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Detroit

People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Ford Motor Co. Fund: St. John Lutheran School, Rochester

Rookie Team of the Year: Navigator Upper Elementary School, Pinckney

Safest city, sponsored by Hartland Insurance Group Inc.: Trinity Lutheran School Team 1, “La faviere,” Utica

Sustaining our future award, sponsored by Golder Associates Inc.: Pierce Middle School, Grosse Pointe Park

For information on how you can organize a Future City team for the 2018-19 school year, visit or




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