UP team wins Michigan Future City Competition

SOUTHFIELD–A team from the Upper Peninsula will represent Michigan in the national Future City Competition, winning the Michigan Regional Competition held Tuesday at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

The winners, from the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe Academy of Sault Ste. Marie, will represent Michigan at the Future City finals, to be held Feb. 17-20 in Washington, D.C. as part of National Engineers Week. The Michigan Regional Competition is sponsored by The Engineering Society of Detroit.

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 was “Electrify Your Future,” and teams were challenged to design a city that is fully electric and powered by energy sources designed to keep its citizens and the environment healthy and safe.

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. Volunteer engineers, scientists, and business professionals serve as judges. Teams are coached by educators and engineer mentors.

Across the nation, 60,000 middle school students from 1,800 teams compete for the national championship. Tuesday in Novi, nine schools participated, some with several teams, for a total of 16 teams.

The JKL Academy’s winning city, Neo Orleans, was a futuristic New Orleans built on part of the existing city that used a wide variety of renewable energy sources to power their city while improving its climate. As an added twist, the city reached out to extraterrestrials to emigrate to Earth, and the city’s population was visualized as being 15% extraterrestrials.

Second place in the competition went to St. John Lutheran School of Rochester. Third place went to AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School of Southfield. Fourth place went to Pierce Middle School of Grosse Pointe Park. Fifth place went to Tappan Middle School of Ann Arbor.

Presenting sponsors of Future City were Constellation, the DTE Foundation, TC Energy and the Skillman Foundation.

For information on how you can become part of building a Future City, or to volunteer as a mentor or judge, visit www.esd.org/programs/futurecity, or contact Allison Marrs, ESD Future City program manager, at amarrs@esd.org or (248) 353-0735.

Founded in 1895, The Engineering Society of Detroit is a multi-disciplinary society uniting engineering, scientific and allied professions to enhance professional development and foster excitement in math and science to produce our next generation of leaders. Serving this generation of engineers and fostering the next. For more information, visit www.esd.org.


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