News from Maxi Container: One of the perks of owning your own business is that you can take time to be involved in your community. Today, I was involved in an event that proved the old saying, “Think globally, act locally.”
Thanks to John Carlos and our friends at GreeningDetroit.com my son and co-worker Josh Rubin and I were Judges at the 2012 Michigan Regional Future City Competition hosted by The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD). We helped determine the winner for a “special award” for the “Greenest City,” sponsored by GreeningDetroit.com.
The Future City Competition challenges students to design a city of the future and have fun doing it. The program is designed to promote technological literacy and engineering to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. The idea is to foster an interest in math, science and engineering through hands-on, real world applications and help students better understand the practical applications of mathematical and scientific principles.
I met 6th, 7th and 8th graders from many different types of schools, from city schools to charter schools, and church schools to public schools. It was a very diverse group of kids from all over the state. They all had one thing in common, enthusiasm. They spoke to myriad adults from many large and small business explaining in detail their model city. All of the designs were imaginative and addressed issues that we are all familiar with. Some had communication services that alerted paramedics in the event of a medical emergency. Others used maglev transportation systems, vertical farms, bio-domes, passive solar heating and living roofs among the many technologies. The students addressed where people would live, where they would work and how they would get there.
Our team of judges were looking for use of green products in building, sustainable development, greenery (parks and farms), how the city dealt with peak energy demands and the use of renewable energy. It was very difficult to determine the “Greenest City”, but after much discussion we gave our award to Birney K-8 School, Southfield, MI.
Birney’s entry had a recycling center, vertical farming, green roofs, geothermal, solar and piezoelectric energy. They used anaerobic digestion to break down wastes, recycled gray water, composted their food waste and, most dear to us at Maxi Container, used rain barrels to harvest rain water for irrigation.
As impressive as the students at Birney were, I was also impressed by St. Valentine’s who had movable sidewalks and a desalination plant. Hazel Park’s used electrochromic glass to control the light and heat in their buildings. Academy of the Sacred Heart used a combination of solar, wind and tidal power. The underwater turbines were bladeless so as not to harm sea life.
You can see a complete list of the winners here, but if you ask me, all of the schools were winners and so was our community as a whole.
Source: Rick Rubin, Maxi Container, Representing GreeningDetroit.com
Photographer: Jim Klein, Representing GreeningDetroit.com