St. John wins Future City competition

NOVI — A team from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester won the 2019 Michigan Regional of Future City, the science and engineering competition for middle school students.

In the competition, hosted by The Engineering Society of Detroit, teams of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders design a city set at least 100 years in the future, organized around a central principle that changes every year to keep the competition fresh.

In the 2018-19 competition, teams were asked to design their city around an advanced power grid that would stand up to natural disaster risks.

By winning the Michigan Regional, the St. John Lutheran team earns the right to compete in the national Future City competition, being held in Washington, D.C. Feb. 19-21 as part of National Engineers Week.

Future City is a cross-curricular educational program where middle school students imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Over four months, students work as a team with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a virtual city using SimCity software; research and write an essay addressing this year’s theme; build a model of their city using recycled materials; complete a project plan, and present their city before a panel of judges at regional competitions across the country in January. Regional winners go on to represent their region at the national competition.

Winning second place was Trinity Lutheran School of Utica. Third place went to St. Valentine Catholic School of Redford Township. Fourth place went to Navigator Upper Elementary and Pathfinder Middle School, part of the Pinckney Public Schools. Fifth place was earned by Pierce Middle School of Grosse Pointe Park.

St. John Lutheran is a veteran of state and national championships in Future City. The school won an unprecedented six straight state championships from 2011 to 2016, and was back-to-back national champion in 2014 and 2015. St. John also won the state championship in 2018. St. Valentine was the state champion in 2017.

Presenting sponsors of Future City are the DTE Energy Foundation and the Ford Motor Co. Fund.

The competition also presents sponsored special awards covering specific areas of engineering, city planning, and more. Those winners were:

* Architectural Engineeirng of an Integrated, High Performing City, presented by Lawrence Technological University: Michigan Islamic Academy, Ann Arbor

* ASQ Quality Improvement Award, sponsored by the American Society for Quality, Greater Detroit Section 1000: Bates Academy, Detroit, Team 1

* Best City for People wiht Disabilities, sponsored by the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America: Navigator Upper Elementary School and Pathfinder Middle School

* Best Communication System, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, Detroit Professional Section: Trinity Lutheran School

* Best Engineered Project, sponsored by NTH Consultants Ltd.: University Prep Math and Science Middle School, Detroit

* Best Futuristic Transportation, sponsored by DENSO International America Inc.: Chandler Park Academy Middle School, Team 2

* Best Land Surveying Practices, sponsored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying: Bates Academy, Detroit, Team 2

* Best Use of Alternative or Renewable Fuels, sponsored by Durr Systems Inc.: Geisler Middle School, Walled Lake, Team 2

* Best Use of Energy, sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation: St. Valentine School

* Best Use of Green Principles, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, Detroit Regional Chapter, Green Schools Committee: Defer Elementary School, Grosse Pointe Park

* Best Use of Materials, sponsored by ASM International, Detroit Chapter: Geisler Middle School

* Best Waste Management and Recycling, sponsored by the East Michigan Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association and Waste Management Inc.: Sarah Banks Middle School, Wixom, Team 2

* Building a World of Difference, sponsored by Black and Veach: St. Valentine School

* Buliding with the American Spirit: People, Projects, and Communities, sponsored by Barton Malow Co.: Sarah Banks Middle School, Team 2

* Electrotechnology award, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Southeast Michigan Chapter: Trinity Lutheran School

* Herbert W. Link Visionary Award, sponsored by Link Engineering Co.: Defer Elementary School

* Incorporation of Plastic Materials, sponsored by Society of Plastics Engineers, Detroit Section: DeWitt Middle School, DeWitt, Team 2

* Innovative Sustainability Award, sponsored by the University of Detroit Mercy: Sarah Banks Middle School, Team 3

* Most Healthy Community, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan: Bates Academy, Team 1

* Most Sustainable Food Production, sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers: Pierce Middle School

* Most Youthful and Architecturally Pleasing City, sponsored by the Michigan Architectural Foundation and the Optimist Club of Downtown Detroit: DeWitt Middle School, Team 2

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

* Sustaining Our Fuure, sponsored by Golder Associates Inc.: Sarah Brooks Middle School, Team 3

* Best Project Plan, sponsored by the Project Management Institute Great Lakes Chapter: St. John Lutheran School

* Most Team Spirit, sponsored by Hartland Insurance Group Inc.: Navigator Upper Elementary School and Pathfinder Middle School

* Rookie Team of the Year, sponsred by The Engineeirng Society of Detroit: Michigan Islamic Academy

More about Future City, including how teams can compete in 2020, at

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