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For Educators

Lead your students through a project-based learning experience and watch them tackle real issues affecting real people. Along the way, they’ll discover engineering, develop a meaningful relationship with an engineering mentor, become more aware citizens, and build 21st century skills.
"I am convinced that this is one of the best [programs] for students to experience problem-based learning, collaboration, creativity, and use STEM skills, all for a minimal entry fee.” - Jennifer Hoffman, Nebraska Teacher

What will my students do?


What will my students do?

They’ll flex their problem-solving skills and amaze you with their creativity!Step-By-Step Guide

What will I do?

What will I do?

You will organize your team and guide them through their projects.
Getting Started

For Educators

Testimonial Author: 
- Jennifer Hoffman, Nebraska Teacher
What will my students learn?

This flexible, cross-curricular educational program gives students the opportunity to do the things that engineers do—identify problems; brainstorm ideas; design solutions; test, retest and build; and share their results. This process is called the engineering design process. With this at its center, Future City is an engaging way to build students’ 21st century skills while they apply math and science concepts to real-world problems. More at What is Future City.

Who can participate?

The program is open to teams of students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

How many students can be on a team?

Teams come in all sizes—a whole class, a group of 10 kids, or 3 students. As you near competition time, you’ll need to identify the 3 students who will officially present the team’s work at the Regional Competition. Read more about Team Formats.

Does my team have to compete?

No. Future City is first and foremost an education program, not a competition program. You can choose any of the five components that fit your learning goals—the Virtual City Design to teach city planning; the Essay to strengthen research and writing skills; or the Physical Model to understand scale, potential and kinetic energy, and city planning.

How much does it cost?

There is a low registration fee of just $25, per organization. This fee covers all of a organization’s teams, from one to twenty.  Additional costs include the $100 budget for model and presentation supplies. You may also incur some travel costs going to the regional competition.

Do I have to register?

Yes. Every organization that is using the Future City program needs to register, even those that are not planning on competing. By registering, you receive all of the materials you need to successfully implement the program. It also helps us know how many students are participating and in what ways.

What support will I have?

First, you will have an engineer mentor who will work with you throughout the program. This web site and the Educator Handbook provides support by outlining all of the program components, giving access to assessment rubrics, offering tips, and listing the program rules.  Your region may also offer program orientations, in person and online training sessions, student help sessions, regular email updates, tip sheets, and maybe even a t-shirt!  Find your region to learn about what is available in your area.

What is the time commitment?

The program runs from September to January, with National Finals scheduled in February. Educators may spend approximately 35-45 hours while students may spend 70 to 100 hours on the project. Some people partner with colleagues to help coach the team—the tech or science teacher to lead the Virtual City Design, the English teacher to oversee the Essay and City Narrative, and the art or math teacher to lead the Model building.

How do educators typically schedule Future City?

Some educators offer Future City as part of a class, some split the work between class and after school, and others do the program after school. Explore Getting Started and decide what works best for you and your team.

Does Future City align with the standards?

Yes! Future City meets the national standards for math, science, and technology education as defined by the Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the National Educational Technology Standards, the Principals and Standards for School Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Science Education Standards. View standards.

How do I find a mentor?

The best place to start is in your community of parents or by looking to local businesses or universities. If you are having trouble finding a mentor your Regional Coordinator can help you find a mentor.