Teams from Rochester, Ann Arbor headed to Future City finals in DC

SOUTHFIELD–For the sixth straight year and the 16th time in the past 21 years, a team from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester won the Michigan Regional Future City competition.

Seventeen teams from eight schools competed Monday in the Michigan Regional, organized by the Engineering Society of Detroit with the DTE Energy Foundation as presenting sponsor. It was the first time the event was held in person since January 2020.

Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities set at least 100 years in the future. The competition’s theme changes every year to keep the competition fresh. This year’s theme saw students design cities to mitigate the effects of climate change, from rising sea levels to changes in temperature and precipitation patterns.

The program’s requirements see teams develop a project plan, write an essay about their city, build a physical model of their city built with recycled materials, develop a seven-minute presentation on their city, and respond to judges’ questions after the presentation.

The St. John presenters hoist the Michigan Regional trophy. ESD photo by Matt Roush

St. John will now go on to compete in the international Future City competition in Washington, D.C., next month, during National Engineers Week. And so will the second place team, Pierce Middle School in Grosse Pointe Park. A rules change in the international competition meant that if a team wins a regional competition more than three years in a row, as St. John did Monday, the second place team is also allowed to make the trip to Washington. First prize in the international competition is $7,500 for the winning school’s STEM program and a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. for team members. (St. John is pictured above explaining its city design to judges.)

Finishing third was Team Superior Point of Tappan Middle School in Ann Arbor. Fourth place went to the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnaabe Academy of Sault Ste. Marie. Fifth place went to Team Mandala of Light of the World Academy in Pinckney.

Special awards went to the following teams:

* Best city for people with disabilities, sponsored by the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America: Team Caballito De Mar, Pierce Middle School

* Best Communication System, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers Detroit Professional Section, St. John Lutheran

* Best Engineered Project, sponsored by NTH Consultants Ltd., Team New Kirkland, Tappan Middle School

*Best Use of Materials, sponsored by ASM International, Detroit Chapter, Sarah Banks Middle School, Wixom

* Best Waste Management and Recycling, sponsored by the East Michigan Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association and Waste Management Inc., Bates Academy, Detroit

* Building with the American SpiritL People, Projects and Communities award, sponsored by Barton Malow Co., JKL Bahweting Anishnabe Academy

* Electrotechnology award, sponsored by IEEE Southeast Michigan Chapter, Team Superior Point, Tappan Middle School

* Engineering Excellence Award, sponsored by ESD, Team Mandala, Light of the World Academy

* Herbert W. Link Visionary Award, sponsored by Link Engineering Co., Michigan Math and Science Academy Dequindre, Warren

* Best Incorporation of Plastic Materials, sponsored by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Team Silver Bay, Tappan Middle School

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

* Most Healthy Community, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan, JKL Bahweting Anishnabe Academy

* Most Innovative Design for Water Conservation and Reuse, sponsored by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, Eastern Michigan Chapter, St. John Lutheran School

* Most Team Spirig, sponsored by ESD, Team Euphoria, Light of the World Academy

* People’s Choice Award, sponsored by ESD, Michigan Math & Science Academy Dequindre, Warren

* Best Land Surveying Practices, sponsored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, Team River Bridge, DeWitt Middle School

* Best Project Plan, sponsored by the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, Pierce Middle School

* Best Use of Energy, sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation, Comstock STEM Academy, Comstock

* Best Use of Green Principles, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council Detroit Region Green Schools Committee, Team Silver Bay, Tappan Middle School

* Rooklie Team of the Year, sponsored by ESD, Team Superior Point, Tappan Middle School

* Safest City, sponsored by Hartland Insurance Co., Team Superior Point, Tappan Middle School

Future City is an international competition sponsored by DiscoverE, the organization behind National Engineers Week. More about the Michigan Regional at More about the event overall at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.