City Essay

City Essay

3 Boys

The City Essay is the first place where students share their vision of their future city. They will write a 1,500-word essay describing the unique attributes of their city and their solution to the 2018-2019 challenge: Powering Our Future. This year's challenge asks participants to design a resilient power grid for their city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.  

Getting Started

Before students get started, be sure to do the following:

  • Review the City Essay Rubric here or located on page 66 of the Program Handbook.

City Essay Requirements

  • Students will select a natural disaster that is a potential threat to their future city - such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, ice storm, or extreme heat - and design a resilient power grid that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of that disaster. Note: the type of disaster the team picks needs to be a realistic threat to their city's geographic location. 
  • Although the focus of the essay is powering the city, the general theme of resiliency should be evident in other aspects of their city as well.
  • The essay cannot exceed 1,500 words and should be free of grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Teams may include a maximum of four graphics.
  • Students must cite at least three sources of information used during the idea development process. MLA style preferred. Download the MLA Reference Template from the Resources section for examples and guidelines.
  • Students should use a variety of sources of information, such as interviews with experts, reference books, periodicals, and websites. NOTE: Wikipedia is not accepted as a source of research.
  • The essay must be submitted as a Word document via the Online Submission Center at Check with your regional coordinator for you'r region's deadline.

For more on the City Essay, download the Program Handbook from the Resource section and refer to Appendix: Deliverables City Essay, beginning on page 57.