New York - Capital Region

Regional Coordinator: Diane Bertok & Greg Skiba

This year's theme is....And registration is now open!

Registration for 2015-2016 Future City® Competition is Now Open

This Year’s Theme, Waste Not, Want Not, Asks the Nation’s Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Graders to Design Solid Waste Management Systems of the Future


Albany, New York– Over the years, cities and towns have managed their ever-expanding piles of trash in a variety of ways, including dumping it into landfills, burning it in incinerators, or shipping it off in trucks and barges. Such waste management systems contribute to air and water pollution and can be expensive and energy-intensive. Today, engineers around the world are focused on the four R’s of waste management: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot, in an effort to deal with solid waste not as trash but as a resource.

With new solutions to waste management critical to the very survival of urban environments globally, the 2015-2016 Future City® Competition, a program of DiscoverE, is now underway. The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place?

This year’s theme, Waste Not, Want Not, encourages students to design waste management systems for residential use and small businesses by looking at issues such as collection, separation, processing, recycling, health and safety, energy efficiency, environmental impact and cost. Students learn how today’s engineers and city planners deal with citywide sustainability issues like solid waste management. They research cutting edge technologies and imagine and design a plausible and futuristic solution that can exist for generations.

Working in a team with an educator and engineer mentor, students present their waste management solutions and vision of their future city in a virtual city design (using SimCity™ software); a 1,500 word city description; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. Teams from 37 regions present their ideas at Regional Competitions in January. Winners represent their regions at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February. The 2015-16 regional competition will be held Saturday, January 9, 2016 at Proctors Theater in Schenectady.

Major funding for the National Finals comes from Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, and Shell Oil Company. Future City was recently honored as the grand prize winner of a $100,000 award in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc) Innovative Education Award Program (ULIEA). Developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the UL Innovative Education Award is open to nonprofits that motivate K-12 schools about science research through E-STEM programming and education about the environment.

Over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City® Competition. The deadline to register is October 31, 2015.  Register today or learn more at Visit our Facebook page for more information and updates on the Future City® Competition.

Last year, there were a total of 22 schools and  25 teams, with a total of 200 local students, competing in the regional finals at Proctors Theater in Schenectady in January. The New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School won the 2014-15 Regional Capital District Future City Competition and represented our area at the national competition in Washington D.C. Other local finalists were: Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School (2nd place); Farnsworth Middle School (3rd place); Acadia Middle School (4th place); and Niskayuna (5th place).

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

About Future City® Competition

DiscoverE’s annual Future City Competition, for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, is held from September 2015 through February 2016. Future City is a major program of DiscoverE, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations, and culminates every year during Engineers Week. This year Capital District Region celebrates participating in the program for 15 years! Visit the Capital District Future City website at:


For more information, contact:

Christine Kingery
Public Relations Chair, Future City Competition
Director of Marketing, Spectra Environmental Group
19 British American Blvd. | Latham, NY 12110
(518) 782-0882 |


Geena Pandolfi
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications
212-725-5200 x112