Southwest Middle School team heading to Future City international finals

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A team of Southwest Middle School eighth graders have earned a trip to Washington, D.C. next month to compete in the Future City international finals.

It will mark Southwest’s ninth trip to the Future City finals, according to a news release from the school district.

Southwest’s Team Karachi, Pakistan won the regional competition and will represent the Great Plains Future City Kansas-KC Metro Region at the finals during National Engineers Week, which is Feb. 18-24, according to the release.

“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,” according to the release. “Participants complete five deliverables for competition: a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model (or multiple model segments) built from recycled materials; a project plan, a presentation video, and a Q&A session with judges.”

Team Karachi includes Max Bolick, Chloe Carnagey, Penny Coleman, Aila Glendening, Ainslee Graham, Logan Harned, Ryan Hethcoat, Celeste Jenkins, Juliet Johnson, Hailey Kim, Isaac Perrins, and Nina Wilson.

They will be joined for the finals by SWMS Team Kano, Nigeria, which includes Caroline Davis, Winry Eymard, Ruby Fritzel, Aiden Gonzalez, Tola Jankowski, Savannah Lynch, Kate Neilson, Henry Roberts, Cooper Salmans, Allen Shao, Laurel Stancil, Nate Willems, and Ruth Yang for the finals, according to the release.

Team Kano won best project plan and best infrastructure awards at regionals.

Southwest Middle School Future City Team Kano, Nigeria (Contributed photo)

SWMS gifted education teacher Danielle Lotton-Barker coaches the teams and Chris Storm is their professional engineer mentor. Four Southwest teams competed at regionals.

West Middle School’s Team Nuuk, Greenland, under the guidance of coach Jessica Miescher-Lerner, finished in second place at regionals.

“These Future City teams researched innovative technologies, projected them 100 years into the future, wrote scholarly essays, created scale models with moving parts, developed multi-step project plans, wrote and performed entertaining and informative skits, and endured and shined in difficult question-and-answer rounds with teams of professional engineer judges,” according to the release.

Learn more about Future City on its website,

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