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Michigan Future City Competition Seeks Mentors

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The Michigan Regional Future City Competition sponsored and administered by The Engineering Society of Detroit is seeking mentors for the 2010-2011 competition.

The ESD says it has more than doubled the number of participating schools, so the need for mentors is even more critical in order to assist students with their projects, and hopefully send a winning team from Michigan to the national competition in Washington, DC.

The competition will be held Monday, Jan. 31 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi.

Now in its 16th year, the competition goes beyond the classroom to inspire sixth, seventh and eighth grade students and nurture their interest in math, science, engineering and technology. Volunteer mentors are an integral part of the experience, working with student teams as they design and build their city of the future.

Mentors must have a technical background sufficient to understand the project and coach the team, as well as:

* Be able to spend one or two hours every week with the team. This can be shared with another mentor.
* Share their technical expertise with participants
* Work with students to help them harness their enthusiasm and channel their ideas into a coherent city.

“Mentors play a vital role in the success of their team and of the competition,” said Ron Smith, ESD’s director of education. “They act as role models bringing real life situations into the classrooms and helping their teams focus their creativity to build winning models. As we take Future City to more schools this year, we urgently need mentors to help guide our teams to the national competition.”

The Future City Competition challenges students to design a city of the future — and have fun doing it. This program was designed to promote technological literacy and engineering to middle school students. The program fosters an interest in math, science and engineering through hands-on, real world applications and helps students better understand the practical applications of mathematical and scientific principles. The winning team will go on to compete in the national Future City in Washington, DC.

For more information about the Future City Competition or to sign up to become a mentor, call Sue Ruffner at (248) 353-0735, ext. 117 or sruffner@esd.org.

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