Future City Region


Deadlines & Dates












Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


About this Region

Regional Coordinator(s)

Don Wittmer, P.E.


Welcome to the Future City® Chicago Region!

Future City Competition serves 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Sponsored by DiscoverE, this national program introduces students to engineering with popular Sim City software. Students design cities with simulation software, build scale models, write essays and give oral presentations on their city’s design.

Learn more about the Future City Competition Deliverables »

Register now for the 2023 Future City Competition!

Register your student team here.

Registration closes October 31, 2022

Future City starts with a question – How can we make the world a better place?

To answer it, middle school students imagine, research, design, and build future cities that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. The 2022-23 Future City Competition will challenge your middle school students to research, design, and create a city that exists 100 years in the future and incorporate futuristic solutions to climate changeThis year, teams will tackle the Climate Change Challenge by choosing a climate change impact and designing one innovative and futuristic climate change adaptation and one mitigation strategy to keep their residents healthy and safe.

This flexible, cross-curricular educational program allows students to do what engineers do—identify problems, brainstorm ideas, design solutions, test, retest, build, and share their results. Future City is an engaging way to build students’ 21st-century STEAM skills.

Once your student team is registered, begin preparing your project.

Throughout the fall, participants work in teams of at least three students, an educator, and a volunteer mentor to bring their vision of their future city to life. They will imagine what it’s like like to walk down the main street of a city 100 years in the future. What do they see, hear, smell, and feel? From this starting point, they will design a futuristic city with innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing sustainability issues.

This year’s challenge asks students to address climate change in their city. As the middle school students create their cities, they will:

  • Use the engineering design process and project management steps to take on a large-scale project;
  • Apply their math and science knowledge to a real-world problem
  • Strengthen their teamwork and problem-solving skills;
  • And more!

For more information or to receive information about signing up for the competition, contact Don Wittmer at 312-930-9119 or dwittmer@hntb.com.

Competition Day

Regional Competition Date: January 21th, 2023

Each team consists of 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students who are interested in math, science, and engineering. At the regional competition in January, only 3 students will be able to present materials, but there is no limit on how many students may work on the entire project throughout the year. The team will work together along with the teacher and engineering mentor to:

  • Use Sim City Software to design a logical computer model of their futuristic city.
  • Build a physical model of their city using creative materials such as recycled goods.
  • Demonstrate their writing skills through an essay and abstract including:
    1. Writing about an assigned engineering design problem, and
    2. Explaining features of their Sim City computer design.
  • Developing a team presentation on the physical model.

Competition Day Info

Competing teams and judges should arrive by 7:30 a.m. to set up and get instructions.

Students – You will be given a number when you check-in. All teams will stay with their models throughout the morning judging. We will be doing the preliminary judging on one side of the room while the Special Awards judging takes place at the other side of the room at the same time. This will give them more time to see the models and talk to the students. The teams will have time to take breaks when they are not participating in the preliminary judging in the morning.

Each team will be judged twice by two separate teams of judges. After the four rounds of judging occur (two for the odd-numbered schools and two for the even-numbered schools), the top 5 teams will be announced. These teams will then compete in front of a new set of judges.

Parents, Teachers, and Mentors – The day of the competition will be a fun day for the students. They work very hard to get to this competition. We ask that during the judging you stay off to the side and remain quiet. We understand that you want to coach and take pictures, but this often interferes with the actual judging and may cause a judge to miss critical information the students are relaying.

Competition Day Schedule

8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Judges have a chance to get an overview of all models. No actual judging.

8:15 a.m. – 8:25 a.m. All Schools gather in the Thompson ABC Room(s) for instructions to the teams

8:30 a.m. Schools at their models as Special Awards judging begins

8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. First round of 5 competing teams will be judged in separate classrooms

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Second round 5 competing teams will be judged

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Make-Up Time or Short Break

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Third round of 5 competing teams will be judged

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Final 4 competing teams will be judged

12:00 p.m. Top 5 schools announced in Thompson ABC room.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Pizza and drinks will be provided for your school team (5-6 people)

12:25 p.m. – 2:05 p.m. Top 5 schools judged (everyone invited to watch)

2:05 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. TBD

2:20 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. TBD

2:20 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. School Recognition, Raffle Prizes, and Special Awards presentations


National Competition and Engineering Week Links

Engineering Societies

Fun Links and Outreach Programs

    Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest Site – The Bridge Design Contest is a nationwide competition intended to promote math, science, and technology education in U.S. elementary schools. The contest provides students with a realistic introduction to engineering through engaging, hands-on design experience. All U.S. students in grades K through 12 are eligible. Contestants may compete individually or in teams of two.

    Zoom into EngineeringA joint project of ZOOM and National Engineers Week, ZOOM has created materials for engineers to use with kids in classrooms, after-school programs, libraries, and even malls!

    FirstAn organization to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

    ACE Mentor Program – Career directions for students in Engineering, Architecture, and Construction

    MATHCOUNTS – The mission of MATHCOUNTS is to increase enthusiasm for and enhance achievement in middle school mathematics throughout the United States.  With the generous support of all MATHCOUNTS sponsors and volunteers and leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers at the local and state levels, MATHCOUNTS is providing today’s students with the foundation for success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.  MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment, coaching, and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory.