Nothing spells change like a new Detroit in the year 2160. And nothing will be as fascinating and eye-opening as seeing what a new Detroit will look like through the eyes of sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

On Monday, Jan. 31, more than 1,000 students from the City of Detroit and the entire State of Michigan compete for the title of “Best City of the Future.”

For the first time ever, The Engineering Society of Detroit and its Institute united in support with the Detroit Public Schools and the Detroit City Council have challenged every middle school student in the City of Detroit to imagine and create a new Detroit.

In its 16th year, the Michigan Regional Future City Competition is a nationwide competition that challenges sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to envision a city in the future in which they would like to live. Guided by their teachers and volunteer engineer mentors, students have three months to develop a computer model, write an essay, build a physical model using engineering and mathematical principles, and then present their creation to professional judges during a daylong competition.

The winning team from Michigan will go to Washington, DC, in February to compete in the national Future City challenge against teams from across the country.

New this year, and following the competition on Feb. 12, teams that built a Future Detroit will be invited to participate in an ESD Institute-sponsored kids’ symposium, titled “Envisioning Tomorrow Together” whereby contestants will draft a collective vision for a future Detroit by thinking about and responding to questions like:

* What are the things that make a city cool?
* If you were envisioning “Future Detroit,” what would it look like and how would you accomplish it?
* If you were 30 years old and living in Detroit, what would be your vision in order to live and work happily there?
* If you were a future leader of Detroit, how would you accomplish your vision of Detroit?

The Michigan Regional Future City Competition is funded partly by The DTE Energy Foundation, the Ford Motor Co. Fund, Initiative Science, Arvin Meritor, and the Project Management Education Foundation.


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