As students develop their essays, invite them to reflect on the process and evaluate their solutions (this process will help prepare them for the judges’ questions). Point out interesting ideas, creative thinking, and effective teamwork. Here are some questions to help guide discussion.
• What research has been helpful in understanding transportation issues and designing your solution?
• Where did you get inspiration for your solution?
• What are the intended benefits of your solution?
• What trade-offs come with your solution?
• How has the design process been helpful to you?
• What have you learned about yourself and your teammates during this process?
• What have you learned about engineering that you didn’t know before?
Research Essay Rubric—Have students review the essay rubric.
- Include the name of your city on each page of your Research Essay. Remember, your future city name needs to remain consistent throughout the competition.
- Place the word count at the end of the essay. The word count does not include the title and reference list, but does include captions of graphics and illustrations. A maximum of four graphics/illustrations are allowed.
- Complete the Research Essay Form. You can find this form on page 30 or download the writeable PDF at www.futurecity.org. Please remember the educator or the mentor must sign the form to attest to its accuracy.
- Use a variety of sources of information for research, such as interviews with experts, reference books, newspaper and magazine articles, and Web sites (Wikipedia is not accepted). Be sure to attach a list of at least three sources and use the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Go to www.futurecity.org to download a MLA reference template.
- Make a copy of the Essay Form, Research Essay, and Reference List to keep with your records.
- Upload your Research Essay and Research Essay Form to www.futurecity.org. An email with upload instructions will be sent to you shortly before the submission due date.
Find your region for submission details and deadlines!