Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)

Regional Coordinator: Lisa Kosick

Future City Pittsburgh Volunteer Opportunities

Ways to Get Involved


Virtual City, Essay, Model/Presentation and Special Awards Judges:

Online registration,  Please contact Lisa Kosick at 412.237.1534 or with any questions.

Room Monitors, Model Movers and General Volunteers:  

Online registration,  Please contact Lisa Kosick at 412.237.1534 or to register.


Mentors: Register Online:

The Pittsburgh Region is beginning its 18th year in the National Future City Competition. The number of Middle Schools that have registered in the Pittsburgh Regional Competition has grown each year. The Competition's growth is testimony to the program's unique capacity to challenge students to learn and test new concepts related to engineering and city planning, to apply the mathematics and science they have already learned, to explore their imaginations about what our Cities will be like in the future, and to build an example of the result using ingenuity and their own hands. But another facet of the Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition that has allowed it to expand is the associated growth of a cadre of dedicated volunteers. Because without volunteers, there would be no Competition.

Volunteer as an Engineer Mentor - Starting in September, the Competition begins to recruit volunteers to act as the Engineer Mentor for each of the schools that would like to enroll. The Mentor meets with the student team and the teacher at regular intervals from October through Competition Day, on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Serving as a Mentor may require from 30, to as many as 40 hours of your time, and although there must be only one official Engineer Mentor, we may assign two mentors as co-mentors at some schools, to spread the load and increase the student's contact with engineers.

The mentor's first responsibility is to guide the students through, what might be described as, the project development process. The students must become familiar with the Competition's requirements and rules, and the schedule for deliverables. The students will need to develop their own plan and schedule for completion of their project and divide and assign responsibilities for various tasks. And of course, the students must assess unexpected difficulties and occurrences and revise their plan and schedule.

The mentor's second responsibility is to teach the students about the various engineering disciplines, and the role that engineers play in building and maintaining a city. Before the deadline for school enrollment, October 16, 2017, we estimate that we will need to identify as many as thirty volunteers to act as Engineer Mentors. Register Online:

Volunteer as a Virtual City Judge (November 30 - Dec. 31) - The teams will design a Virtual City using SimCity software and present their city’s progress via a slideshow on November 27, 2017. Once a volunteer has reviewed the rubric, it takes about 15 minutes to judge. Each team’s Virtual City slideshow will be judged by three different judges, and we expect as many at least thirty schools to submit them.  We anticipate a need for ten to twenty judges for this deliverable.  Judging can be done at your convenience. As judges complete their scoring, they will submit the scores via the National Future City online database (CMS). 

Volunteer as an Essay Judge (December 18 - Jan. 11) - Volunteer as a City Essay Judge – On December 18, 2017, The City Description is due for the second deliverable. Each City Description will be judged by three different judges, with each judge scoring several submittals. We anticipate a need for a minimum of twenty city design judges. Each judge will work independently, scoring their city descriptions and submitting their scores via the National Future City online database (CMS). 

Volunteer as a Presentation Aide or Model/Presentation Judge - Finally, on Saturday, January 19, 2019, the final competition will be held at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Based on past experience and based on constraints at our venue, we anticipate that we will need more than 120 volunteers to fill the following positions:

Presentation Judges – Judge the presentation, knowledge of the city, and model

Special Awards Judges – Judge model cities for special awards such as Best Use of Steel, Best Transportation System, etc. as sponsored by various companies and technical societies

Specification Judge – Verify that the models and presentation aides meet dimensional and technical specifications

Model Movers – Move models from the lobby area to presentation areas and back, maintaining schedule

Room Managers / Timers – Control the judging process in a presentation room, passing out scoring materials and timing the actual presentation and question period. Critical to maintaining the judging schedule

Score Keepers – Receive scoring information, check it and input the data into Excel.

Control (Guides/Security) Ensure that contestants and volunteers are in the correct places. Provide general assistance in solving problems.

Still and video camera operators - provide a public relations interface with local press and television

Our goal is to identify all volunteers and make assignments by January 12, 2018. Note that the Volunteer Committee makes every effort to assign volunteers to the requested volunteer function, but you may be requested to help in another role.

Add Your Name to Our Volunteers List - Volunteers are crucial to the success of the Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition. We need more than 200 volunteer throughout the competition. Judges and Mentors can be engineers, technical professionals, architects, city or urban planners or others who work in the engineering and technical community. Judges are required to review the Judging Manual and become familiar with the rubrics and challenge topic. Event day volunteers will be provided with an orientation prior to school arrivals on competition day. Contact Lisa Kosick for more information.


The Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition is supported by a dedicated group of volunteers. Thanks to the many volunteers who helped to make this year’s program a huge success.