Envisioning An Urban Environment That Keeps Growing Community of Older Adults Active and Independent

Talented Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Graders Prepare to Present Their Innovative Solutions as They Tackle This Year’s Theme, The Age-Friendly City, at 26th Annual Future City® Competition Finals

Washington DC, February 5th, 2018 – Long-held assumptions about aging are being radically redefined. Older adults are living longer, staying in the workforce longer and living independently for longer than ever. This population is also growing and altering society’s overall demographics. By 2050, older adults will outnumber children under the age of 14.

Since last fall, more than 40,000 middle school students from 1,350 schools in 41 US regions, as well as teams from Canada, China, and the Middle East, have imagined, designed and built cities for the 2017-2018 Future City® Competition. This year’s theme, The Age-Friendly City, encourages students to design innovative solutions that can serve an urban area’s older population. Students are tasked with identifying age-related issues in their city and engineering innovative solutions that enable seniors to remain active and independent.

In January, each region held qualifying competitions to select the team that will compete at the Future City Finals. Now, those winners are preparing to travel to Washington, DC for the Finals, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, February 17-20, 2018, during Engineers Week. The exciting competition takes place over four days and culminates with one team taking home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for their school’s STEM program (provided by Finals sponsor Bentley Systems).

The Future City Competition is a project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place?

Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a virtual city design using SimCity™ software; a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city built with recycled materials; and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals.

Future City will be streaming the Finals as part of this year's competition. The live stream begins on Tuesday, February 20th at 8:30am (EST) as the competition kicks off with the annual parade of teams. The Future City Finals grand prize winner will be announced at approximately 12:00pm (EST). Watch live at futurecity.org or on our Facebook page. Follow #FutureCity2018 for updates throughout the event.

This year marks the third consecutive year Future City has received a prestigious national award for being a leading engineering education program. In October, Future City was recognized by US2020 and co-founding sponsors, Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services, for the program's achievements and innovations in STEM education and its accessibility to underrepresented youth.

In 2016, the Future City Competition received the 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction, presented by Turner Construction Company and the National Building Museum.

In 2015, Future City was named the grand prize winner in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) Innovative Education Award program, receiving a $100,000 award. The UL award highlights the essential, urgent and significant value of E-STEM education.

Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including mentors and regional coordinators. For information about Future City or to volunteer, visit www.futurecity.org.

Major funding for Future City comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc., Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. Additional program support provided by UL, EA, and AARP.

About DiscoverE

DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.

Press Contact

Future City Competition - National

Carina Sayles
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications
(212) 725-5200 ext. 210

Alyssa Tognetti
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications
(212) 725-5200 ext. 114

Press Release