A team from the Upper Peninsula will represent Michigan in the national Future City Competition, after winning the Michigan Regional Competition Tuesday at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The finals will be held Feb. 17-20 in Washington, D.C., as part of National Engineers Week. Some 60,000 middle school students from 1,800 teams will compete in the national championship.
he winning team is from the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe Academy of Sault Ste. Marie. The team created Neo Orleans, a futuristic New Orleans built on part of the existing city that used a 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.
Future City is a project-based learning program where students in sixth, seventh and eighth 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.
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