Michigan Regional Future City Competition Seeks Funding


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Sept. 17, 2009 – It has inspired countless number of middle school students in Michigan to pursue careers in math, science and engineering. Now, The Michigan Regional Future City Competition, organized by the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) since 1995 and previously funded by major donors, is looking for financial support in order to meet its annual budget.

The competition, which kicks off this month, 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 seventh and eighth grade students. It also 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.

According to Ron Smith, Director of Education for ESD, it costs $150,000 to run Future City. So far, the Society has been able to raise $50,000. The money is used to pay for the SimCity Software that all the teams use to design their cities, computer hardware, travel and transportation for students to and from the competition, teacher orientation and training, supplies, and more.

“We’re still $100,000 short of our goal. We need the funding in order to serve all the schools that have signed up to compete in this year’s event,” said Smith, whose ultimate goal is to involve all the middle schools in Michigan. “Many schools have adopted Future City as part of their curriculum. I can think of no other program that works closely with the kids to show them the career opportunities that exist within their communities.”

Future City is a multifaceted program. In addition to science and engineering, it also promotes language art, leadership and team work. Each year, more than 50 schools and 1,500 students from schools throughout Michigan take part in the competition. They are challenged to design a city of the future based on a real-life theme dictated by the national Future City Competition.

For instance, this year’s theme incites students to “create an affordable living space for people who have lost their home due to a disaster or financial emergency. The living space should use sustainable materials, have low-carbon emissions footprint, and achieve the ‘Green Ideals’ of energy efficient building.”

The 2009-2010 Michigan Regional Future City Competition is tentatively slated for January 20, 2010 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi.

For more information about FutureCity, visit www.esd.org. To make a donation, contact Sue Ruffner at 248-353-0735, ext. 117 orsruffner@esd.org.

Founded in 1895, ESD is a multi-disciplinary society uniting engineering, scientific and allied professions to enhance professional development and foster excitement in math and science to produce our next generation of leaders. Serving this generation of engineers and fostering the next.For more information, visit www.esd.org.