Illinois (Chicago)

Regional Coordinator: Don Wittmer, P.E.

UIC – Student Center East Announced as the Location for the 2018 Award-Winning Future City Competition - The Age-Friendly City


CHICAGO–The Future City Competition for the State of Illinois Competition will be held on Sat. Jan. 20, 2018 at the University of Illinois- Chicago Campus- Student Center East. This is the 26th annual international competition and the middle school students are asked to envision an urban environment that keeps growing community of older adults active, engaged and independent. The State of Illinois competition has competed every year since the inception of the STEM program.

The regional group competes in the national competition during the National Engineers Week which is held in February.  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. 

Each year 6th, 7th and 8th grade students embark on a transformational learning experience as they ask and answer the question: How can we make the world a better place? From this simple starting point, student teams imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. This year’s theme is The Age-Friendly City.

What is Future City?

The Future City Competition is a project-based program where student teams, guided by an educator and STEM mentor, spend four months:

  • Experimenting with city design and management using SimCity software,
  • Researching and designing a solution to a city-wide issue (this year’s topic—The Age-Friendly City—asks students to identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environment and engineer two innovative solutions that allow their city’s senior citizens to be as active and independent as they want to be), and
  • Building a scale model of their city using recycled materials.
  • On January 20th, teams present their vision to a panel of volunteer technical judges. After the competition is over, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, they are poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.

Student Impact

Future City is a powerful tool that strengthens students’ 21st century skills, teaches them civics concepts, motivates them to study math and science, and introduces them to potential careers.

  • 85% of students reported that Future City helped them see that math and science are important to their future.
  • 83% reported they learned how to use engineering to solve real-world problems.
  • 81% of educators saw increases in students’ writing and research abilities.
  • 92% of educators saw increases in students’ problem-solving skills. 

Get Involved- Contact Us 

Last year, 92% of educators said they’d recommend Future City to a colleague!

Don Wittmer, P.E., HNTB, Regional Coordinator

Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB, Regional Committee

Deborah J. Hodges, MA, Grant Manager & Media Inquiries   312-675-6080