Texas (Houston)

Regional Coordinator: Dr. Zafar Taqvi


Building a city of the future is an exciting and complex project. To successfully lead your team through the competition, you've got two powerful tools:

  • The Engineering Design Process--helps you design and build your solution to the Future City challenge.
  • The Project Management Cycle--keeps your project on track.

Click On Leading Your Team for more guidance on the engineering design and project management cycle.

Project Plan [10 points]

Students complete the tool to help them set goals, plan their schedule, monitor their progress and reflect on lessons learned.  The Project Plan will be used with each component of the competition and must be submitted by the deadline.

Virtual City [48 points]

The team develops a future city design using SimCity software. The team will then submit its completed city for judging by the deadline. 

City Description/Essay/Narrative [60 points]

Each student team writes an essay explaining their response to a specific engineering challenge.

Students will think deeply about their city, its population, geographical location, cultural preferences, unique characteristics, and community’s needs. In addition, the City Essay asks students to thoughtfully address this year’s challenge: Age-Friendly City.

City Model [70 points]

Using the software design, the team builds a scale model of a section of their city. The purpose of the model is to give a 3-D representation of how one section of the teams’ future city would look.

The model must contain at least one moving part, such as a transportation or communications component. There is a $100 limit on the materials used in the physical model, so most teams use "found" items to create their city. The physical model will be judged at the Regional Competition.

Presentation [70 points]

Each student team gives a timed presentation of their city to a panel of judges during the Regional Competition, then they answer questions from the judges related to their city’s design.



Using the scores from the virtual design, essay/abstract, project plan/completion document, city model, and team presentations, five teams will be selected to participate in the final round judging.  The five finalists will give their presentations to a team of celebrity judges to select the regional winner. Each qualifying region sends one team to the national competition. For More Information, See Regional Judging.


Regional winning team, consisting of 3 students, a teacher and a mentor will be provided complimentary air travel and lodging for 4 days at Washington DC during the national competition. 3-4 meals will also be complimentary. 

During the preliminary round, after the judges have reviewed the models and essays, the regional winners make another presentation to a panel of judges. After this round, the five teams with the top accumulated scores will become the national finalists. These finalists present their cities to a panel of celebrity judges. The team with the best presentation, model, essay and city design as determined by the celebrity judges will become the national winner.