Competition Overview

The Theme: Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow

The Topic: We turn on the faucet and clean water flows. Most of us don’t give it much thought. But for civil engineers, urban planners, developers, and other professionals, maintaining a reliable water supply takes expertise, planning, and constant vigilance. A water-resilient city must be prepared to address a wide range of risks, including drought, flooding, population change, natural and human-made disasters, and economic recession.

According to current estimates, two billion people worldwide – 25% of the world’s population – currently don’t have access to clean water. And that number is expected to double. By 2025, this vital issue may affect as many as four billion of the Earth’s citizens will be living in water-stressed areas. Sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students from across the country and abroad are asked to identify an urban water system threat and then imagine, research, design and build a futuristic solution to ensure a reliable supply of clean water.

The Challenge: Choose a threat to your city's water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean water.

What is Involved?

During the Future City Competition, students work as a team to design a virtual city using SimCity™ software. They research a city wide issue and write an essay with their findings and solutions. They build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials costing no more than $100 and they write a brief narrative promoting their city. In January, they present their version of the future to a panel of judges at Regional Competitions.

Begin Regionally, Compete Nationally!

The teams that win their Regional Competitions receive round-trip transportation and hotel accommodations so they can compete at the National Finals held in Washington, DC in February. Fierce competition over four days results in one team taking home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for their school’s STEM program.

About Future City and the NJ Region:

Future City is a student outreach activity in New Jersey that has brought together the education community, local engineering alumni, engineering firms and various professional societies. 

Our mission is to provide a fun and exciting educational engineering program for 6th, 7th & 8th grade students that combine a stimulating engineering challenge with a “hands-on” application to research, design and present their vision of a city of the future using SimCity Software and  recycled materials.

In recent years the region competition has grown to over 500 participating students, teachers, and mentors. Feedback from both students and teachers has been exceedingly positive, with exclamations of an excellent engineering experience!


UD: 06/15/17