Future City is an engaging engineering competition for middle school students. It’s one of the most affordable STEM team competitions around and has a low barrier to entry. I attended the Future City finals in Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago to provide social media coverage. I was impressed by what I learned and the people I met–students, teachers and engineers. It’s a powerful STEM learning opportunity, especially this year!
Yes, the Future City 2019 competition theme is Powering Our Future.
The Powering Our Future challenge is about creating a resilient power grid for a city that exists at least one hundred year into the future. The power grid must be able to survive a powerful natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, ice storm, or extreme heat.
The 2019 Future City competition encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of our current electrical grid and how electricity is:
- monitored, and
Regionals will take place in January 2019; finals will be held in Washington, D.C. in February.
I like the Future City Competition because:
- It’s an exciting event that combines 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! The fee includes training and up to two copies of SimCity.
- 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.
Head to the Future City website to learn more and sign up. And 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.