Future City Region


Deadlines & Dates


December 15, 2023


January 20, 2024


January 20, 2024


January 20, 2024


January 20, 2024


Part 1

November 10, 2023

Part 2

November 10, 2023

Part 3

December 15, 2023

Part 4

January 17, 2024

About this Region

Regional Coordinator(s)

Colleen Feller

Welcome to the Minnesota Future City Region!

For 23 years, Minnesota 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have imagined, designed, and engineered the future!

The 2023-2024 theme is Electrify Your Future!

The challenge: Design a 100% electrically powered city with energy generated from sources that keep your citizens and the environment healthy and safe.

Program Handbooks will be available in August.

Registration closes on October 31, 2023.

2022-2023 Minnesota Regional Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 Minnesota Future City Competition “Top 5” Teams:
First Place- VAXA, Mound Park Academy

Second Place- Nadee Sooraj, Justice Page Middle School

Third Place- Ethos, Black Hawk Middle School

Honorable Mention- Delhi, Scott Highlands Middle School

Honorable Mention- Varia Terra, Twin Oaks Middle School


Mentors Needed

Virtual or On-site Mentors Welcome

Engineers, city planners, and other professionals with technical backgrounds: you are invited to volunteer as a mentor for the Minnesota Future City Competition (FCC).

Future City mentors volunteer once per week (virtual or in-person) from September to January. Mentors provide advice, guidance, and technical assistance as the students work on the various project components. In the early weeks, you’ll meet with the team to get to know the students and focus them on the big picture: good urban design, an overview of the essay topic, and brainstorming possible solutions. Later, you’ll help with the model, teaching the students about scale, and working on the presentation. Making yourself available by email to review things like the essay and ideas of futuristic components is helpful too. A teacher is also present when you meet with students.

Interested in mentoring? We’ll help you connect with a school near your home or work. Contact Colleen Feller at colleen.feller@brightworksmn.org


Judges Needed

Engineers, architects, city planners, and other professionals with technical backgrounds: we need your time and expertise!

Future City provides an authentic STEM experience for middle school students around the country. Engineers created this competition and its success is dependent upon continued support from industry professionals and those in the STEM community. Serving as a judge is fun and rewarding. Judges should have a technical background sufficient to understand and evaluate the student’s work. Engineers, city planners, architects, secondary students, and others in the STEM community are welcome and encouraged to volunteer! Future City provides assessment rubrics and training.

Judging Opportunities:

There are 2 different judging opportunities:

Essay Judge – virtual – volunteers read 5 research essays written by the students on the “Electrify Your Future” theme. A rubric and scoresheet are provided. Scores are submitted electronically. Time commitment: 3 hours. Essays are available to be judged starting in mid-December. Scores are due in early January.

City Model/Presentation Judge – in person – volunteers come to the MN Regional Finals on 1/20/24 at Dakota County Technical College from 8:00 am-noon. Judges listen to 6 different student teams give a 7-minute presentation, then ask the students follow-up questions about their city model. Judges are in teams of two. Friends can request to judge as a team. A rubric and scoresheet are provided. Coffee, treats, and lunch are provided to judges as well. It’s fun and rewarding.

Register to be a judge here (choose “Minnesota” as your state): Register here »

*Be sure to select “regional competition judge” and choose “Minnesota” as your region.


Contact Colleen Feller, MN FCC Coordinator, colleen.feller@brightworksmn.org or 612-638-1511.

Sponsors & Partners


Platinum Contributor ($4,000 and above)
Gold Contributors ($2,500 to $3,999)
Silver Contributors ($1,500 to $2,499)
 Bronze Contributors ($500 to $1,499)

Alliant Engineering, Inc.

Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE)

Barr Engineering

Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Center for Transportation Studies, U of M

Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) – Upper Midwest Region

Great River Energy



Kurita America

Minnesota Association of County Surveyors (MACS)

Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science, and Technology Societies (MFESTS)

Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers (MnSPE)

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)

Project Management Institute Education Foundation (PMIEF)

Society of American Military Engineers (SAME)

SRF Consulting Group, Inc.



Competition Host Site

Dakota County Technical College


Future City Minnesota is coordinated by SparkPath, a non-profit organization located in Arden Hills, Minnesota.


SparkPath presents its K-12 student enrichment programs in partnership with BrightWorks, a Minnesota Service Cooperative that supports the seven-county Twin Cities metro area.

Our History

The Future City Competition was offered for the first time in Minnesota during the 2000-2001 school year. Seventeen schools participated during that inaugural year. Since then, Future City Minnesota has grown–25 to 40 schools participate each year. Our mission has remained the same: to expose middle school students to engineering in a creative, hands-on way.

Below are the 1st place winners from each year, as well as the location of the regional competition.

Date First Place Winner Regional Competition Venue
2000-2001 Chippewa Middle School (Mounds View) St. Anthony High School
2001-2002 Chippewa Middle School Science Museum of Minnesota
2002-2003 Cook County Middle School (Grand Marais) FAIR School (Crystal)
2003-2004 Chippewa Middle School FAIR School
2004-2005 Blackhawk Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan) FAIR School
2005-2006 Chippewa Middle School FAIR School
2006-2007 Valley Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan) FAIR School
2007-2008 Chippewa Middle School University of St. Thomas
2008-2009 Cook County Middle School University of St. Thomas
2009-2010 Chippewa Middle School University of St. Thomas
2010-2011 St. Francis of Assisi School (Rochester Catholic Schools) University of Minnesota
2011-2012 Blackhawk Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan) University of Minnesota
2012-2013 Grandview Middle School (Westonka) University of Minnesota
2013-2014 Lifelong Learning Center (Maple Plain) University of Minnesota
2014-2015 Orono Middle School University of Minnesota
2015-2016 Olson Middle School (Bloomington) Dunwoody College of Technology
2016-2017 St. Francis of Assisi School (Rochester Catholic Schools) Dunwoody College of Technology
2017-2018 Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis) Dakota County Technical College
2018-2019 Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis) Dakota County Technical College
2019-2020 Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis) Dakota County Technical College
2020-2021 Roseville Area Middle School Virtual
2021-2022 Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis) Dakota County Technical College
2022-2023 Mounds Park Academy Dakota County Technical College

Special Awards

2022-2023 Special Awards

Special Awards Sponsor Winning School and Team Name
1. Most Innovative City Setting – Most cities are designed for the earth’s surface, but a city may be developed in other environments to support human beings. The city winning this award may be built underwater, underground, on another planet, or in equally innovative setting. 3M Rosemount MS,
2. Best Infrastructure SystemAwarded to the city that encompasses infrastructure design for the community’s current and future needs. The infrastructure design encompasses areas of transportation (roads, transit, and bridges), water supply and treatment, and wastewater treatment. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – MN Section Mounds Park Academy,
Rayon de Miel
3. Engineering ExcellenceAwarded to the city that best integrates use of many different engineering disciplines, uses creative and practical engineering solutions, and plans for future growth. Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science, and Technology Societies (MFESTS) Mounds Park Academy,
4. Safe Drinking WaterAwarded to the city that uses the most innovative methods to protect and provide safe drinking water. MN Department of Health & American Water Works Association (AWWA) – MN Section Justice Page MS,
5. Best Transportation SystemAwarded to the city with a transportation system that best provides for: safe and efficient movement of people and goods, creative financing for transportation, various types of transportation (i.e. bikes, buses, cars rail, etc.), water drainage for protection of roads, environmental protection, and traffic management. SRF Consulting Group, Inc. Scott Highlands MS,
Nagreporma Ang Bagyo
6. Most Practical DesignAwarded to the city that best considers practical implementation and sustainable use in their future city. MN Society of Professional Engineers (MnSPE) Twin Oaks MS,
7. Best Industrial/Commercial LayoutAwarded to the city that best integrates industrial and commercial aspects into the infrastructure of their city. Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE) – Twin Cities Chapter 13 Valley MS of STEM,
8. Most Innovative Power SystemAwarded to the city with an innovative power system that addresses critical requirements, including reliability, disaster planning, environmental impact, and cost effectiveness. Emerson Valley MS of STEM,
9. Readiness for Natural and Human-made DisastersGiven to the team that has demonstrated the most thought into addressing risks to its infrastructure and populous stemming from potential natural and human-made disasters. Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) – Mpls-St. Paul Post Rosemount MS,
10. Best Rail InfrastructureAwarded to the city that best utilizes freight and passenger rail in its infrastructure. HDR Grandview MS,
Ville Verte
11. Most Effective Power Grid Awarded to the city whose power grid effectively and resiliently delivers power from one or more energy sources to the community. The award is for both the method of power generation and delivery. Eaton Justice Page MS,
Taone Kokoru
12. Best Land Surveying Practices AwardThis award recognizes the design that employs the best land surveying practices, taking into consideration the high standards used by surveyors to help protect the public’s safety and welfare. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Twin Oaks MS,
13. Most Innovative ConstructabilityMost city populations are not fans of construction and delays. Getting the best design and system integrations are only great if they can also be done in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Awarded to the city design with the best constructability that identifies and removes obstacles to ensure timely construction, prevents errors, and reduces cost overrun. Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA-Upper Midwest Region) Twin Oaks MS,
Varia Terra
14. Outstanding Future City Project PlanThis award recognizes a team’s outstanding understanding of Project Management concepts and application of Project Management knowledge. Teams should be able to explain how they followed the project cycle when designing their future city. They should be able to clearly communicate their activities in each stage of the project cycle, including how they created their project schedule, assigned responsibilities, and monitored and controlled their work. Finally, teams should be able to explain what they learned during their project by answering the kinds of questions that they ask themselves during their team reflection. Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) New Richmond MS,
Von Kuppel
Special Awards Determined by Numerical Score



1. Outstanding EssayAwarded to the team with the highest-scoring research essay. CenterPoint Energy Mounds Park Academy,
2. Outstanding City Model Awarded to the team with the highest-scoring city model. City Engineers Association of Minnesota (CEAM) Black Hawk MS,
3. Outstanding Team PresentationAwarded to the team with the highest-scoring presentation. CenterPoint Energy Justice Page MS
Nadee Sooraj
4. People’s Choice AwardAwarded to the team whose city is voted the favorite by people in attendance at the 2023 MN FCC at DCTC. MN FCC Steering Committee Scott Highlands MS

Contact Us

Colleen Feller – Minnesota Future City Competition Coordinator

SparkPath (formerly Success Beyond the Classroom)

2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101
Arden Hills, MN 55112

direct: 612-638-1511