ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition
January 22, 2018
Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, MI
What is Future City?
Future City is a cross-curricular educational program where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Over four months, students work as a team with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a virtual city using SimCity software; research and write an essay addressing this year’s theme; build a model of their city using recycled materials; complete a project plan, and present their city before a panel of judges at a Regional Competition in January. Regional winners go on to represent their region at the national competition in Washington, DC, in February.
What Is This Year’s Theme?
The Age-Friendly City
This year’s challenge asks participants to identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and engineer two innovative solutions that allow their future city’s senior citizens to be as active and independent as they want to be.
Who can participate?
The Michigan Regional Future City Competition is open to Michigan students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th who are from the same school, a home school environment (a Home School Affidavit form will need to be completed), or are members of a nationally, regionally, or state recognized youth-focused organization, such as the Boy or Girl Scouts; Boys and Girls Clubs; 4-H, etc. The competition is team-based and each team consists of at least three students, an educator and a volunteer mentor. A team can include an entire class or as few as three students.
How Does the Competition Work?
Future City restructured its framework to incorporate project management principles and the engineering design process. Teams will work through the stages of the engineering design process and apply specific project management methods to help them complete each of the required competition deliverables. There are still 5 program deliverables however the point structure has changed:
- Virtual City: Students design a virtual city using SimCity software and present their city’s progress via a slideshow presentation. Note that teams will not be uploading their actual game file, but rather a PDF slideshow. (48 points)
- City Essay: Students describe the unique attributes of their city and provide their solution to this year’s challenge, The Age-Friendly City. This 1,500 word essay combines the former Research Essay and City Narrative deliverables. (60 points)
- City Model: Students build a physical model of their future city (to scale) using recycled materials. (Note: No change from past years.) (70 points)
- City Presentation: Students give a 7-minute presentation about their city followed by a short Q&A session. (Note: no change from past years.) (70 points)
- Project Plan: Students complete a project plan to help them plan and organize their project. (10 points)
When is the Competition?
The Michigan Regional Future City Competition will take place January 22, 2018, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich. In February, the winning team from each region competes at the national finals in Washington, DC. Michigan’s first-place team will receive an all-expense-paid trip for the teacher, mentor and three presenting students to Washington, DC, to compete in the finals.
For more information or to volunteer to serve as a mentor, contact Allison Marrs at email@example.com or 248-353-0735, ext. 121.
What Role Does the Volunteer Mentor Play?
The mentor is an integral part of the Future City team. Serving as the team advisor and advocate for all phases of the program, the mentor provides valuable input and technical assistance. The mentor makes connections to real life engineering experiences, serves as a coach, and helps students translate the academic to the real world of engineering. People who work in the engineering community are preferred to serve as mentors. This includes engineers, technical professionals, architects, and city or urban planners, to serve as mentors.
For more information or to volunteer to serve as a mentor, contact Allison Marrsat firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-353-0735, ext. 121.
Why are Judges Needed and What Do They Do?
The role of the judge is to draw on their expertise and resources to fairly judge the teams’ efforts. Judges will be needed to evaluate the following competition projects:
- SimCity Slideshow: Students design a virtual city using SimCity software and present their city’s progress via a slideshow presentation. A training session will be provided in late November. No advance training is required, but detailed instructions will be provided.
- City Essay: Students describe the unique attributes of their city and provide their solution to this year’s The Age-Friendly City challenge. This 1,500 word essay combines the former Research Essay and City Narrative deliverables. The essay and narrative will be judged in mid-December. No advance training is required, but detailed instructions will be provided.
- Models and Team Presentations: This judging involves attending the ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition on January 22, 2018, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The training for this phase of judging takes place at 8 a.m. the morning of the competition. The actual judging is from 9 – 11 am. At that time, the schools display their model cities and three presenting students from each team give a five-to-seven minute presentation to a panel of judges.
How Do Teams Register and Is There a Cost?
Educators can register a team at www.futurecity.org or click here: http://futurecity.org/register. There is a $25 registration fee, per organization or school. This fee covers all of an organization or school’s teams, anywhere from one to twenty. Additional costs include the $100 budget for model and presentation supplies. Teams may also incur some travel costs going to the Regional Competition.
Does Future City Align With National Standards?
Future City aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards, Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the International Society for Technology in Education’s National Education and Technology Standards. You can view all of the standards here: http://futurecity.org/standards.
Where Can I Find Additional Resources About The Competition?
Check out our Teacher Page here. Additional resources including a program handbook, helpful webinars, and additional resources to research the essay topic, can be found http://futurecity.org/all-resources.