City Model

City Model

Future Little Neck

For this deliverable, teams will build a physical model of a section of their city using recycled materials. In addition to showcasing their city of the future, the City Model must also show the team's solution to the annual challenge. The model must have at least one moving part, be built to scale, and may not exceed the $100 expense budget (including any materials used in the presentation, too!).

Engineers, architects, scientists, and city planners all use models to help them communicate their ideas, share their research, and predict the success of their design. The ideas represented in the City Model should align with the team's City Essay and reflect what they learned as they designed their virtual city. Students must decide upon an area of their city that will best showcase their solution to this year’s challenge as well as the overall vision that they have for their city. They should think carefully about their city design and the placement of specific structures.

Getting Started

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

Review the City Model Rubric in the program handbook or download here.
Review the City Model Requirements (listed below)
View the City Model Video Tutorial on our Resources page
View examples of other City Models in the Gallery

City Model Requirements

  • Must be built to scale as determined by the team. 
  • The basic state of the model must fit to be no larger than 25” (W) x 50” (L) x 20” (H). During the presentation, it is permissible to have extended parts, such as access doors, compartments, and hinged pullouts, as long as they are fully self-supported by the model, or -- if removable -- held by a presenter. 
  • Vertical-oriented models are not accepted. 
  • Must contain one or more moving part(s). Any electrical power must be self-contained (e.g., a household battery and a simple circuit). 
  • Use of electrical floor or wall outlets is not allowed. 
  • No live animals, perishable items, drones, or hazardous items (e.g., dry ice or fire) may be used in the model. 
  • No audio or sound may be used as part of the model. 
  • Although a small number of individual pieces from previous competition models may be reused, models must be a new representation of a future city and built from the bare baseboard up.
  • The total value of the materials used in the model, as well as those used in support of the presentation and special awards, (including color copying/printing, 3D printing, visual aids, costumes, and other demonstration aids) may not exceed $100 and must be reported on the Competition Expense form.
  • A completed City Model Identification Index Card must be submitted. This 4"x6" index card is used by the judges to identify your team's information. The card should include:
    • City name (must be same as the team name)
    • Scale used for the model
    • Name of school/organization
    • Names of the three presenting students, educator, and mentor

For the full list of rules and details on the City Model, download the Program Handbook from the Resources section.