Future City is an engaging engineering competition for middle school students (grades 6, 7, 8). It’s one of the most affordable STEM team competitions around and has a low barrier to entry. For the competition, students design futuristic cities with a specific goal or challenge in mind using simulation software. Teams also build budget-friendly scale models, write essays, and give oral presentations on their city’s design.
The 2019-20 Future City competition theme is the Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow.
From the Future City site:
We turn on the faucet and clean water flows. Most of us don’t give it much thought. But for civil engineers, urban planners, developers, and other professionals, maintaining a reliable water supply takes expertise, planning, and constant vigilance. A water-resilient city must be prepared to address a wide range of risks, including drought, flooding, population change, natural and man-made disasters, and economic recession.
The teams’ challenge: Choose a threat to your city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean water.
Regionals will take place in January 2020.
Teams can enter the competition through October 31.
The Illinois regional competition will take place in January. Finals will be held in Washington, D.C. in February.
The Future City Competition is Great Because…
The Future City Competition is great because:
- It’s an exciting event that invites research in science and technology as well as engineering.
- It encourages kids to think about their role in shaping an awesome and sustainable future.
- There is a lot of room for creativity.
- It’s a relatively low-budget event. Teams are supposed to creatively upcycle materials for their model and are limited to a budget of $100.
- Related to other team STEM competitions, there’s a low barrier to entry. It’s only $25 to register a team!
- Teams get paired with actual engineers to mentor them.
- Generous sponsors ensure that most expenses are covered for teams that make it to the national competition–we’re talking airfare, hotel, and many meals.
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Learn about other STEM competitions for your school here.
Head to the Future City website to learn more and sign up. Click for an awesome list of STEM Competitions for middle and high school students.
Here’s a peek at the 2014 competition. That year’s topic was transportation.