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District 196 middle schools well represented at Future City competition
District 196 middle schools well represented at Future City competition

District 196 middle school students took two of the top five spots and seven of the 18 special awards at the Regional Future City Competition held Jan. 21 at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount.

Sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation, Future City is a national, project-based learning experience where middle school students imagine, research, design and build cities of the future that showcase their solutions to a citywide sustainability issue. This year's theme is Climate Change Challenge. Teams designed a futuristic city that adapts to and mitigates the critical challenges of climate change. Students work as a team with a teacher and engineer mentor to design their virtual city using software and other resources. They also research and write a 1,500-word essay about their city, build a tabletop scale model with recycled materials, develop a project plan and make a presentation to judges at the regional competition. Regional winners represent their region at the national finals held in Washington, D.C. each February.

Team Ethos from Black Hawk Middle School finished in third place and won the special award for Outstanding Model City. Team members are Geyasree Badri, Madhushri Gupta, Tyler Haffely, Zachary Browning, Caleb Rustin, Gavin Yang and Jonathan Rubin. The coach advisor is David Herem and the engineer mentor is Russ Matthys, director of Public Works for the City of Eagan. 

Photo of Future City BHMS Ethos


Team Delhi from Scott Highlands Middle School was honorable mention in fourth place and received the People’s Choice Award.  Team members are Aahana Barama, Maya Criqui, Lorenzo Galindez, Eli Terre, Evan Thompson and Hasini Vadaga. The coach advisor is Theresa Back and the engineer mentor is Christina Preszler, environmental consultant for Merjent, Inc.

photo of future city SHMS team Delhi

The following teams from District 196 also won special awards:

  • Team Cordellia from Rosemount Middle School won Most Innovative City Setting;
  • Team Waterwalla from Valley Middle School of STEM won Best Industrial/Commercial Layout;
  • Team Ivylion-Topia from Valley Middle won Most Innovative Power System;
  • Team Vatnaborg from Rosemount Middle won Readiness for Natural and Humanmade Disasters, and
  • Team Nagreporma Ang Bagyo from Scott Highlands Middle won Best Transportation System.