Desert Wind Middle School students participated in a city-model showcase Thursday night, where friends and family of the students could view their models and stay for their presentations. 

After a three-year hiatus caused largely by COVID-19, blended-learning students at the two schools have been working on their Future Cities projects for the annual competition.   

Shannon Hull, a blended-learning teacher at Desert Wind Middle School, said younger students typically look toward older students for guidance. However, because everyone is new to the project due to the pandemic, she sees it as a level playing field. 

“Because this is the first year that any of the students have done the competition, it’s just a huge eye-opening for all of them. The older kids that are used to being confident about their projects, and can be a good mentor, they’re even doubting themselves a little bit,” Hull said. 

RELATED: Maricopa Wells students compete for regional slots in city-making competition – InMaricopa 

Students, family members, teachers and community leaders attended the showcase in the school’s cafeteria. 

Maricopans viewed the cities while students prepared for their presentation time slots, where four groups would present simultaneously in separate rooms.  

A total of 30 groups presented during the showcase, eight of which were previously assigned to go to the regional competition at ASU Preparatory School in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. 

The eight are: 

  • Adah Mirai: Jayce Brabham, Beckett Butters, Heath Hostler, Taliyah Manymules, Averie Patterson and Ivan Santiago  
  • Bengal: Fatima Ahmed, Chayton St. Clair-Bennett, Ada Garnett, Abby Keleman, Maddy Keleman and Isabella Owens  
  • Dawfi: Margaret Drinka, Blessing Hay, Elisabeth Oliver and Sophia Osorno  
  • Dhaka: Warner Adams, Connor Begonja, Jack McMullen, Josalyn Morgan, Mason Rogers and Kenny Winterstellar  
  • Erlangen: Gabe Alexander, Jaelen Dansby, ElRey Gomez, Andre Hood, Bennett Munkirs and Bradlee Sanders  
  • Guangzhou: Jake Knorr, Kimmy Hoang, Haby Mae Obsequias, Anna Nunez-Prieto, Patricia Anguian and Dalaini Margerum  
  • Hulawah: Ethan Armstrong, Emerson Baker, Marlie McNamee, Makayla Pedro, Rebecca Ullyot and Eliam Warner-Garcia  
  • Jacobabad: Jasper Aasen, Travis Adams, Charlotte Coon and Jacob Facurib 

Students who were not assigned to go to regionals still did the project for a grade, and presented to a panel of judges. 

RELATED: Middle school students prepare to bring city models to regionals – InMaricopa 

A look at the Future Cities Competition through photos by Brian Petersheim Jr.: