SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — The Engineering Society of Detroit is looking for more participating middle schools, as well as volunteer mentors and judges for its 2014 Michigan Regional Future City Competition.

The deadline to register is Thursday, Oct. 31.

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So far, more than 20 middle schools have signed up to participate in this science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related competition.

In Future City, students imagine a city 150 years into the future, design a concept using SimCity software, build a physical model of their city, write an essay about their city, and develop a verbal presentation about their city — all with the help of their teachers and volunteer engineer mentors.

More than 700 students take part in the competition every year.

This year’s Future City theme is transportation-related: ‘Tomorrow’s Transit: Design A Way To Move People In And Around Your City.’

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The Future City competition will be held Monday, Jan. 27 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Setup begins at 7:30 a.m. Finalist presentations usually begin around 1 p.m.

The winning team will go to Washington, D.C., in February to participate in the national competition with teams from throughout the country.

In addition to schools, ESD is still looking for volunteer engineer mentors to serve in the classrooms, as well as judges. Mentors are an integral part of the Future City team. They serve as team advisors and advocates for all phases of the program and provide valuable input and technical assistance. Individuals with technical, engineering or architectural/urban planning backgrounds are preferred.

Judges are also needed to serve on all or some of the following phases of the program:
• SimCity Designs: Teams submit their city plan that they have designed using SimCity software in mid-November. The SimCity designs will be judged in December and early January. A training session will be provided in late November.
• Essays and Narratives: As part of the competition, students write a narrative describing their future city’s key features and design attributes, as well as a 1,000 word essay. The essay and narrative will be judged in mid-December. No advance training is required, but detailed instructions will be provided.
• Models and Team Presentations: Judges will attend the ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition on Jan. 27. The training for this phase of judging takes place at 7:30 a.m. the morning of the competition. The actual judging is from 9 to 11 a.m.

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For more information about Future City, please contact Allison Marrs, Membership and Future City Program Manager at (248) 353-0735, ext. 121 or or visit This event is open to the public.