Future Cities Winning Essays For Contests

Not to be confused with Future Cities, one of the UK's Catapult centres.

Future City Competition is a national competition in the United States that focuses on improving student's math, engineering, and science skills. The program is open to students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades who attend a public, private or home school.

The Future City Competition (www.futurecity.org) is an example of problem based learning with computer simulation. It is an example of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) education. The program asks 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from around the nation to team with engineer-volunteer mentors to create — first on computer and then in three-dimensional models — their visions of the city of tomorrow. The Future City Competition, a program of the DiscoverE organization, has been operating since 1992 and currently serves over 40,000 students.[1]


The aim of the Future City Competition is to provide an exciting educational engineering program for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students that combines a stimulating engineering challenge with an inquiry-based application to present their vision of a city of the future.


  • The Future City Competition provides a platform for students to increase their:
  • Ability to work in teams,
  • Research and technical writing,
  • Oral presentation skills,
  • Application of coursework to practical problems,
  • An awareness of community and business issues on the local and global levels.

National Academic Content Standards[edit]

The Future City Competition components are strongly aligned with many national educational standards relating to STEM fields.

State Academic Content Standards[edit]

State Academic Standards are based on the National Academic Standards.

Team members represent their ideas and proposals in several ways:

  • Essay about the yearly theme (for example, the theme of the 2016-17 competition is the "Power of Public Space" where students are challenged to design a Future City that includes a distributed network of innovative, multi-use public spaces that serves their city's diverse population).[2]
  • A City Narrative discussing their city's attributes, features, and main concepts.
  • A Physical Model to show a physical representation of their city. The model is to consist of as many recycled materials as possible, and must cost less than 100 dollars.
  • Computer Design using Sim City software.
  • Presentation to describe their city to the judges on the day of the competition.

Awards and Prizes[edit]

Teams that win their Regional Competitions advance to the National Finals. Teams competing at the National Finals have the opportunity to win the following prizes:

Winners and Theme of the 2006–2007 National Competition[3][edit]

*Theme: Fuel Cells
  • 1st Place: St. Thomas More School - Louisiana
  • 2nd Place: Nevada Christian Home School - Nevada (Northern)
  • 3rd Place: Helen Keller Middle School - Michigan

Winners and Theme of the 2007–2008 National Competition[3][edit]

*Theme: Urban Disasters
  • 1st Place: Heritage Middle School - Westerville, Ohio
  • 2nd Place: Farnsworth Middle School - New York Albany
  • 3rd Place: Our Lady Help of Christians School - Philadelphia

Winners and Theme of the 2008–2009 National Competition[3][edit]

*Theme: Water
  • 1st Place: Bexley Middle School - Ohio
  • 2nd Place: St. Thomas More - Louisiana
  • 3rd Place: St. Thomas the Apostle - Florida (South)

Winners of the 2009–2010 National Competition[3][edit]

  • 1st Place: Davidson IB Middle School - North Carolina
  • 2nd Place: Valley Middle School - New Jersey
  • 3rd Place: Northern Nevada Home School - Nevada (Northern)

Winners and Theme of the 2013–2014 National Competition[3][edit]

*Theme: Tomorrow's Transit
  • 1st Place: St. John Lutheran School - Michigan
  • 2nd Place: Valley Middle School - New Jersey
  • 3rd Place: HEAR Rockwall Homeschool - Texas (North)

Winners and Theme of the 2014-2015 National Competition[3][edit]

*Theme: Feeding Future Cities
  • 1st Place: St. John Lutheran School - Michigan
  • 2nd Place: West Ridge Middle School - Austin, Texas
  • 3rd Place: Academy for Science and Foreign Language - Huntsville, Alabama

Winners and Theme of the 2015-2016 National Competition[3][edit]

*Theme: Waste Not, Want Not
  • 1st Place: Academy for Science and Foreign Language - Huntsville, Alabama
  • 2nd Place: Harbor View Academy - Texas (North)
  • 3rd Place: St. John Lutheran School - Michigan


External links[edit]

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