Welcome to the 2016 - 2017 Future City Competition! I hope your new school year is off to a great start and I am glad to see you've decided to participate in Future city again this year. Below are some general advice on the various components of the program, for detailed instructions see the National Website “Competition Deliverables” area for ideas, instructions, scoring rubrics and tips for success.
Part 1 Sim City:
SIM CITY Computer Design: To get started, please download your software for SIM City using the codes provided by Future City National. Note that students may need to try a few practice cities before their final city that they want to use in the competition, so please have the students start creating practice cities right away. After two or three practice cities the team should discuss the pros and cons of the practice cities and decide on a good layout for the final city to ensure they will have all needed elements and the city will have good zoning, amenities and other features needed for success. Note, if you have multiple teams, see resources page for instructions how to install on multiple machines
Part 2: Essay:
This year’s essay topic - Power of Public SpaceTeams should start doing research a little each week right from the start of the program to start developing ideas of technology and innovative ideas they want to include in their city. Essay should discuss aspects of the water management the students have decided on.
Part 3: Project Plan
Students work with their team to complete a project plan to help them stay organized and focused with the Future City project. Due one week before the Regional Competition
Part 4: Physical Model
To create the physical model students will use everyday recycled items that they have painted or covered or combined in some way to create buildings, roads, landforms, and other parts of their city. The model should be to scale and follow the guidelines laid out on the national website in terms of sizes and requirements. I recommend putting a box in the classroom at the beginning of the school year and have students start collection various recycled objects, various sizes and shapes, various textures, various colors, then when it comes time to build the model they will have ample materials to choose from to create their models.
Part 5: Presentation
The presentation will be used to explain your city to the judging panel. Don’t wait until the last minute to start the presentation. As soon at your essay and narrative are complete you can start the process of creating a presentation that will highlight the key elements of your city. Presentation should be practiced with friends and parents and other teachers until the students can run through without reading or becoming too nervous or too shy. Note, some team do the presentation as more of a mini “play” where each team member has a role. I find this to be a good strategy.
You may want to get multiple teachers on board at your school, for example the art teacher to help with the model design, the science teacher to help suggest technology research, the social studies teacher to suggest ideas that help communities, the math teacher to help with city financing and scaling the model, English teacher to give tips on presentation and writing techniques, etc…
Parts of the program will overlap schedule wise, do not wait until one part is completely done to start the next part.
Students do not need to do the entire project at school, sim city practice, research, model part creation, presentation practice can be done at home as well as in school. I have noted over the years that successful teams do quite a bit of work at home on the project.
Split the responsibilities between team members. I’m not saying one student should work exclusively on one part, but instead have them hold responsibility, research and management of their “parts”. Examples of things students can be in charge of… transportation systems, power generation systems, communications, zoning, education, fire/police/security systems, recreation, housing, manufacturing, water supply, pollution control, etc…
Karen C. Armfield, P.E.
Associate Vice President