St. John, Rochester’s Future City Team Earns 2nd in National Championship2 min read

The Future City competition team from St. John, Rochester earned Second Place at the National Future City Competition, February 17–20, in Washington, D.C. The team also earned “Best Essay.”

They won first place at the 2018 Michigan Regional Future City competition on Monday, January 21, thus qualifying for national competition. The Engineering Society of Detroit is the sponsor of the Regional round of the competition, which was held at the Suburban Showcase Collection in Novi, Mich.

The St. John team also received “Best City for People with Disabilities,” sponsored by the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America, and “People’s Choice Award,” sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.

St. John has won the Michigan Regional Championship 12 times, finished in the “Top 10 National” 8 times, and participated in the “Top 5 National” 6 times, including winning back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015, the first school ever to achieve this ranking.

This is St. John’s 21st year of participating in the Future City program. Most years were under the leadership of former St. John teacher Mr. Jon Pfund, together with a number of engineer mentors.

Dr. Linda Gerhardt, Global Paint Quality Lead at General Motors, is in her 10th year as the team’s engineer mentor. Mr. Tim Grothaus is this year’s teacher sponsor. William (Bill) Abramczyk from FCA, a former mentor and team parent, helped this year as a volunteer engineer mentor as well. The team’s student presenters were Ethan Dodson, Sloane Kerska and Reagan Rutkowski, with alternate Prisca Yim.

This year’s theme was The Age-Friendly City, asking participants to identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and allows the city’s senior citizens to be active and independent.

Future City Competition ( is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities set at least 150 years in the future.

Future City is offered at St. John Lutheran School as an Academic Enrichment course in Middle School. Fifth grade students may attend the after-school and weekend meetings as apprentices.

Congratulations students!

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This blog was published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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