New York - Capital Region

Regional Coordinator: Diane Bertok & Greg Skiba

Capital District Future City® Competition Will Attend the Games in Education Event August 6-7

Capital District Future City® Competition Will Attend the Games in Education Event August 6-7

 Albany, New York– The Capital District Future City® Competition will be attending the Games in Education symposium on Tuesday August 6th and Wednesday August 7th at the TEC-SMART campus in Malta, New York.  Representatives from the Future City Competition will be discussing how Sim City 4 Deluxe™ software is used in the development of the program in order to enhance science, technology, engineering, and math skills.


Using Sim City 4 Deluxe™ software, middle school students are asked to design a virtual city of the future with a population of 50,000 people or greater and progressed forward at least 150 years. There are no restrictions on the environment, location, or celestial body where the city may exist.


Diane Bertok, Project Manager for the Existing Facilities Program at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will be presenting “Future City Competition: A Creative Way for Students to Imagine the Future” on Wednesday, August 7th from 1:15 – 2:00 pm. At NYSERDA, she is responsible for managing energy efficiency projects implemented throughout New York State. Prior to joining NYSERDA, Ms. Bertok was a geologist at an environmental consulting firm where she investigated and remediated hazardous waste sites.


Ms. Bertok first became involved with the Future City Competition seven years ago as a volunteer on the day of the competition, and her volunteer duties have evolved to include working as the awards coordinator and most recently as co-chair of the competition. She finds the multidisciplinary approach of the competition to be effective in teaching middle school students various methods of approaching and thinking through complex problems; using technology like SimCity 4 Deluxe is one innovative way students can wrestle with the challenging problems facing the science and engineering industry today.


The Games in Education event is a multi-day symposium which focuses on the topic of using video games to supplement and inspire in-classroom education. Participants span early childhood through post-secondary educators in New York’s Capital District and surrounding regions who are interested in finding ways to use video games and related technology to enrich and inspire interest by students in core curriculum topics. The symposium has run annually since 2007 and is free for educators to attend.


The Future City Competition is a national program sponsored by the National Engineers Week. The mission of the Future City Competition is to provide a fun and exciting educational engineering program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students that combine a stimulating engineering challenge with a “hands-on” application to present their vision of a city of the future. This year marks the 21st year for the National Future City Competition with 37 regions participating, effecting over 53,000 students from 1,300 middle schools.