The Theme: Powering Our Future

The Topic: Natural disasters-such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes-can pose serious threats to cities. While these events rarely last longer than a day or two, the damage can severely disrupt people's daily lives, especially for exposed and vulnerable populations, and dramatically worsen the rebuilding process. Examples of this are the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in 2011 and Hurricane Maria's direct hit on Puerto Rico in 2017. Japan lost key sources of electricity, requiring rolling blackouts to millions of businesses and homes for months, which made manufacturing and home living very difficult. Puerto ice had 80% of its power lines wiped out with a complete loss of the electrical grid-leaving small generators as the only way to power everything, including hospitals, airports, police stations, and cell phone towers.

Today's engineers, architects, and city leaders face the critical task of creating resilient cities. A resilient city is one that can adapt to challenges. It has connected systems and infrastructure in place that limit damage and help the city recover quickly. Physical systems such as infrastructure and housing are built to withstand high winds or earthquakes, information systems such as zoning data and maps are designed to support relief efforts, and institutions such as city management or emergency response are developed to ensure the quickest possible recovery. A resilient city ensures its residents are safe and healthy, their communities are stable and cared for, and the economy of the city is strong and durable.

The Challenge: Design a resilient power grid for your future city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.


Competition Day Winners

  • 1st Place - Kaifukuryoku from JerseySTEM
  • 2nd Place - Jeemm from Frelinghuysen Middle School
  • 3rd Place - Xantoeris Maxis from Iselin Middle School





1st Place



2nd Place

Frelinghuysen Middle School


3rd Place

Iselin Middle School

Xantoeris Maxis

4th Place

Readington Middle School


5th Place

Keyport Central School

Shorai no Shima

6th Place

Franklin Borough School


7th Place

Hoboken Charter School


8th Place

Bedminster School


9th Place

Heritage Middle School


10th Place

Twp of Ocean Intermediate School


Best Use of Engineering Principles

Forrestdale School


Most Organized City

Verona Public Schools

Ciudad de Esperanza

Best Planning Practices

Transfiguration Academy


Best Land Surveying

Franklin Borough School


Best Use of Power Systems

Harding Township School

Mount Neverest

Most Resilient City

Frelinghuysen Middle School


Most Creative Use of Materials

Corpus Christi School


Most Sustainable City

Franklin Borough School


Most Innovative Design of Infrastructure Systems

Hoboken Charter School

Grashma 2.0

Best Transportation

Upper School

City of Fi

Best Economy

Hoboken Charter School

Genesis City

Best Newcomer

Hedgepeth-Williams M.S. of the Arts

Genesis II