WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWJ) — The team from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester has won the national Future City competition held Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

St. John won the right to compete in the national finals by winning the Michigan title — as it has done the past four years in a row, in fact. The Michigan competition was held Jan. 27 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, managed by the Engineering Society of Detroit. St. John was tops among 23 teams at the Michigan regional.

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As national champion, the St. John team won $7,500 cash and a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.

Future City challenges middle school students to design and build a city at least 150 years in the future, centered around a theme that changes every year. This year’s theme was “Tomorrow’s Transit: Design A Way To Move People In And Around Your City.”

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Teams must design the city using Sim City software, build a physical model of their city on a limited budget, write a paper about their city, and write and rehearse a presentation on their city.

The city St. John built was set in the year 2164. Called Gongpin, it is located on the Li River in the Guangxi region of mountainous south-central China. To ensure a better transportation system for the city’s residents, the students created FAIR transport (Flexible, Accessible, Integrated, and Renewable). FAIR links all modes of transport, including personal vehicles, mass transit, and cargo systems at connecting sites called “subhubs.” It is accessible through a holographic, voice-activated communication system called LifeWatch.

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For more information about Future City, contact Della Cassia at (248) 353-0735 ext. 112 or dcassia@esd.org, or visit http://www.esd.org.