MWMS team wins Future City regional trophy, heads to D.C.


Enthralling the judges and even their own competitors, one Maricopa Wells Middle School team grabbed first place in the Arizona Future City competition.

The title earned the team of Diamont de l’Arizona a spot in the national competition in Washington, D.C.

Comprised of project manager Sarah Skrnich, Joseph Rice, Emily Cordero and Elise Brown Thunder, the team also won the Popular Choice category.  All students in the competition voted for their favorite models, and Diamont won the day.

The regional Future City competition was Jan. 17 at Arizona State University.

Working off the national theme of “Feed Future Cities,” six of MWMS’s eight teams won awards at Regionals. Meanwhile, Desert Wind Middle School stacked up seven awards.

“Maricopa schools walked away with half of the awards that were given at the entire competition,” said Robyn Rice, 20+1 instructor at MWMS.

Juwel, a DWMS team of Ana Hoopes, Savannah Shelabarger, Isabel Younicutt and Riley Bell-Niver, won three awards on the day. Besides the award for Best Multimodal Transportation System, they earned the prestigious Walton Sustainable Community Award. Riley also received the Project Manager Special Award.

The MWMS Kenko Toshi group of project manager Aman Mahant, Evan Grace, Emma Lee Morano and Emma Schrader won the Award of Distinction, chosen for performing in an exemplary fashion.

DWMS won the award for Best Scale Model with the Para Dar team of Sydney McDill, Alysa Huffman, Aniya Windsor and Shane Sexton.

The Genoa team of project manager Gabriel Thornsbury, Connor Witte, Elias Brown Thunder and Nicholas Perez won the prize for Best Computer Model, scoring the highest on the SimCity model.

Kunst van de Oogst, an MWMS team comprised of Jordan McGee, Megan Hahn and the late Morgan Martin, received the award for Innovative Use of Infrastructure. During the event there was also a moment of silence for Morgan, who died Christmas Day.

The regional prize for Engineering Discipline, Involvement and Innovation went to DWMS’s Piao Yuan Gong, made up of Parker Hunsaker, Henry McCloskey, Jonah Benson and Matthew Whitely. The team also won the award for Best Narrative.

The prize for Most Innovative Structure went to Matamis of MWMS, comprised of project manager Clarissa Sauceda, Jacquelyn Bui, Daxton Redfern and Bryan Pick. They scored the highest in addressing local conditions such as earthquakes and wind.

The prize for Best Team Effort went to Ruth Sherwood, Rainie Sanders and D’Avion Cyprian, who created Alto Granja for DWMS.

***ADVERTISEMENT***“This competition is the product of our blended learning environment at DWMS and MWMS,” said Shannon Hull, 20+1 teacher at DWMS. “We utilize project-based learning that fosters the students’ intellectual creativity. The students learn the importance of teamwork and communication while using the engineering design process to create their magnificent city.”

She credited parents and the support of the Maricopa Unified School District for creating a strong teaching and learning environment.

Future City is a STEM-based program emphasizing science, technology and math. The national competition is Feb. 15-17.