BEAVERTON — For the second consecutive year, a team from Valley Catholic Middle School will advance to the national Future City competition in Washington, D.C. The team will depart Feb. 14, and the results of the competition will be decided Feb. 18.

Future City is a project-based learning program in which middle schoolers research, design and build cities they’ve imagined for the future. Each year, teams tackle different sustainability issues in their metropolitan models. Past topics include green energy and urban agriculture.

At the regional competition, held in January near Seattle, Valley Catholic secured first place and earned the spot at the national competition.

This year’s challenge was entitled “Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow.” Teams chose a threat to their city’s water supply and designed a resilient system to maintain a reliable source of clean drinking water.

The winning entry, Hydro City, was created by seventh graders Nikita Chincholkar, Shrihan Ganta, Shruthi Prudvi and Trisha Shetty.

“Global warming could submerge places in the future,” said Nikita. To address that challenge, the Hydro City model includes a desalination plant.

Team members said they did not expect to finish first at the regional competition.

“We thought it would be a fun experience and we would learn from other teams,” said Trisha.

This is the third year Valley Catholic has participated in Future City. Last year’s team made it to the top competition with their design for a resilient power grid that could endure and quickly recover from a national disaster.

Each Valley Catholic grade has a signature STEM assignment, and the Future City is the signature project for seventh graders.