Middle school students at Desert Wind and Maricopa Wells will be travelling to downtown Phoenix and to compete with others around the state in the Future Cities Competition. 

The annual competition had been an annual event until the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to it, before it resumed as the pandemic eased.  

Blended-learning students have been tasked with developing a city dealing with this year’s topic: climate change. They must develop one mitigation solution, for example using more electric cars to negate climate change, and one adaptation solution, for example plants atop and on the sides of buildings to create more oxygen and clean the air, 

“This year has been a challenge because the topic is very broad,” said DWMS teacher Jennifer Szoltysik. 

Students from all grade levels comprise city groups. In the past, eighth-graders would help lower-grade students. The next year, lower-grade students would ascend to leaders. 

With a multi-year gap due to COVID-19, this marks it the first time competing for this year’s students.  

“None of our students have completed this project before,” Szoltysik said, “We don’t have those seventh- and eighth-grade leaders to help guide the sixth-graders, who are new to the project.” 

The competition consists of writing an essay, creating a project plan, building a model and then an interactive presentation.  

This year, the location of the regional competition moves to ASU Preparatory High School in downtown Phoenix from the ASU campus in Tempe. 

The middle schools are handling the competition differently. 

Desert Wind has eight “competition groups” that will attend the regional competition. Remaining blended-learning students are on “recreational” teams that also create a project but do not go to regionals. 

Desert Wind teams will present at the school 5-7 p.m. Jan. 12, during a parent showcase. 

Twenty-four teams from Maricopa Wells will compete 5-8 p.m. Thursday on campus for the chance to go to regionals. Students will present their cities to a panel of judges. 

A photo gallery of students working on their cities:


Desert Wind Middle School groups (Guaranteed regionals) 

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 


Maricopa Wells Middle School groups (To compete for regionals)  

Aoife: Cameron Hayes, Elle McDermott, Jordan Smith and Joseph Reed and Rylee Lopez 

Belleza: Brooke Macdonald, Dahlila Kellch, Jameson Jenkins and Krysta Calamusa 

Calgary: Aaron Doucette, Nathaniel Davis, Micah Chaturvedi and Mark Pablo 

Hallstatt: Logan Fisher, Ashlyn Grutzius, Rori Blader and Emily Crowell-Viloria 

HishÅ Machi: Allen Vo, Isaiah Glover, Logan Mechling and Ricardo Vela Guerrero 

Isla Verde: Alex Garavito, Grey Soderquist, Jaxon Brown and Jen Sandoval 

Kai kūʻono: Ireland Corral, Jada Armstrong, Kasaundra Owczarski and Sophia Garci 

Kinabukasan: Daniel Watson, Laisha Cuevas Trujillo, Marcos Rodriguez and Valeria Sanchez 

Long Beach City: Antonio Servian, Dylan Alliss, Frank Keller and Xavier Kautz 

Los Angeles: Jayvian Cervera, Dylan Eklund, Mylez Jones and Adrian Cervantes-Archuleta 

Mt. Metropolis: Aliyah Cox, Logan Meyer, Zena Palmer and Joseph Pollack 

Midori no Shuto: Abi Emmons, Marcus Guerrero, Mia Garza and Nic Croft 

Moderne Stadt: Barron Ramos, Cody Burnheimer-Pringle, Joseph Hansen and Levi McCarthey 

Nagasaki: Adriana Villa, Lillian Thompson, Jayden Vail and Kylee Kreckler 

New Atlantis: Jayden McDonald, Kyra Barleen, Max Piwowar, Suzie Swartzlander and Wesley Colvin 

Osaka: Heriberto Hermosillo, James Gappmayer and Jordyn Miller 

PÃissaro Azul: Aubrey Bradshaw, Emery McAtee, Kinnie Clement and Savannah Gores 

Positano: Addison Niewierski, Alyssa Amico, Logan Corral and Myles Armstrong 

Rome: Azul Arevalos, Belanna Lopez, Amare Gomez and Mason Kieber 

San Diego: Nicholas Lopez, Darian (Sophia) Flores, Ma’Kenkie King and Zayanna Hernandez 

Suezcalia: Christopher Voigt, Orion Chaturvedi, Jay’Lanna McClinton and Michael Fix 

Takoradi: Baltej Beemat, Brookely Watome, Illianna Garcia and Tommy Capallia 

Tubig: Brian Fernandez Chavez, Juan Trejo, Ricky Sitts and Steven Hancock-Contreras 

Ville De L’Amour: Aleah Oliver, Deana Seabrooks, Rachel Lapp and Joslyn Miller