Illinois (Chicago)

Regional Coordinator: Don Wittmer, P.E.

Over 20 Teams are Powered Up for 27th Annual Award-Winning Future City Competition on Jan. 19, 2019 at Whitney Young Magnet High School

Theme: Design a Power Grid That Can Withstand and Recover from Natural Disaster

Chicago —   Over 20 teams are set to compete in State of Illinois Future City Competition this Sat., Jan. 19 at Whitney Young Magnet High School. This year’s theme is “Powering Our Future.”  The sixth-eighth graders are preparing to compete in the local competition and the regional winning team will face off on the international level in Washington, DC on Feb. 19, 2019.


Here is the Competition Day Schedule:  


8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.        Judges have a chance to get an overview of all models. No judging will take place then.

8:15 a.m. - 8:25 a.m.        All Schools gather on Arts Bridge for instructions to the teams

8:30 a.m.                          Schools at their models as Special Awards judging begins

8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.        First 5 competing teams will be judged in separate classrooms

9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.     Second 5 competing teams will be judged

10:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.    Make Up Time or Short Break

10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.    Third 5 competing teams will be judged

11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.    Final 4 competing teams will be judged

12:00 p.m.                       Top 5 schools announced on Arts Bridge

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.     Lunch (Pizza and drinks will be provided for your school team (5-6 people)

12:25 p.m. - 2:05 p.m.     Top 5 schools judged on stage in theatre in Arts Building (everyone invited to watch)

2:05 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.       Amtrak- Disaster Response and Recovery Demonstration

2:20 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.       CECO – Disaster Response and Recovery Demonstration

2:20 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.       School Recognition, Raffle Prizes, and Special Awards presentations


Whitney Young Magnet High School is located at 211 South Laflin Street, Chicago, Ill. 60607.  The event begins at 7:30 a.m. and concludes about 3:30 p.m. Look for a full agenda soon. The public is welcome to attend, visit the student teams and their models in the exhibit hall. There is no fee to attend the event.


The Chicago Wolves is a proud sponsor of the event again this year. Look for an updated list of our sponsors soon.

Natural disasters— such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes — pose serious threats to cities and citizens. The damage from these events can severely disrupt every aspect of life in an affected region. Especially now, in the wake of recent catastrophic events around the globe, engineers, architects, and city leaders face the critical task of creating resilient cities.

A resilient city adapts to challenges; it has connected systems and infrastructure in place that limit damage and help the city recover. 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 help with recovery. A resilient city ensures its residents are safe, their communities are stable and cared for, and the economy remains durable.

Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a virtual city design (using SimCity™ software); a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. Teams from 40 US regions present their ideas at Regional Competitions in January. The State of Illinois regional winners then compete at the Finals in Washington, DC in February, where they are joined by a growing roster of international teams, including those from Canada and China.

In the US, over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City® Competition. Visit our Facebook page for more information and updates on the Future City® Competition.

Major funding for Future City comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. Additional program support provided by Electronic Arts Inc. and UL.

About DiscoverE

DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit

Future City® State of Illinois

The State of Illinois Future City Competition® is celebrating its 27rd year as a regional group in the national competition. The regional competition is comprised of teams, schools, and professionals from Illinois.  In addition to the actual competition, Annual Chicago Engineers Benefit Dinner showcases the top local teams and award winners. For more information, visit our website here or go to

Future City® Regional Coordinator

Don Wittmer, P.E., HNTB


Future City® Regional Committee

Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB


Press Contact

Deborah J. Hodges, Grant Manager, State of Illinois 

Golden Square