ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition

This fall, middle school students will begin work on the Future City Competition; a project-based learning program where students work as a team with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a city of the future. Students will tackle this year’s challenge – Electrify Your Future.

What is Future City?

Future City starts with a question–how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Participants complete five deliverables: a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model; a project plan, and a presentation to judges as well as a Q & A session at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the Finals in Washington, DC in February.

Why are judges needed and what do they do?

The role of the judge is to draw on their expertise and resources to fairly judge the teams’ efforts. Judges are needed for each of the four stages of the competition. The essay will be judged remotely, and the model, presentation & question and answer session will be judged live and in person during the competition.

No advance training is required for judging essays, detailed instructions will be provided. The training for competition day judging takes place at 7:30 a.m. the morning of the competition.  The actual judging is from 9 – 11 a.m.

Interested in serving as a judge?

Visit to sign up as a judge. Please be sure to select the Regional judging category and choose Michigan as your region.

For more information on judging, please contact Leslie Smith at or 248-353-0735, ext. 152.

Interested in sponsoring?

Consider sponsoring a component of competition day or a special award. Sponsors help offset costs which allows ESD to continue offering this valuable STEM program to students across the state. Future City is an innovative and fun way to introduce middle school students to engineering and a rewarding career they might not otherwise have considered.

For more information on sponsorships, please contact Elana Shelef at or 248-353-0735, ext. 119.