Regional Competition – January 15
 – 16, 2016

National Engineers Week

February 15-16, 2016

FC2015-2016 South Texas/ Houston Regional Highlights – See Below

View the local Future City Competition Schedule
Map to the Gilruth Center

Teacher/Mentor Training Schedule

List of Schools Registered (pending)
Steering Committee (pending)

Competition Scoring

Future City 2016 Competition

Houston-Regional Competition FC2016 Key Dates

Schedule – Overall

School/Team Registration Deadline:  October 30, 2015

  • Phase 1 – Virtual City design Upload: December 7, 2015
    Design the City; average hours spent by the team: 18; Additionally a PROJECT Plan will be uploaded.
  • Phase II– Local Competition deliverable Uploads: Saturday, January 9, 2016 

Essay/Narrative (combined deliverable UPLOADED by the teams; UPLOAD Project Completion document:
    Essay Challenge: “DESIGN an Innovative citywide solid waste management system for your future city that is safe, environmentally sound and energy efficient” . Check the manual for permissible number of words; average hours spent, 8. Essay will be judged online January 10th-12th, 2016

  • Phase III – Local Competition: January 15 – 16, 2016
    01/15-16/2016 –  Building MODEL- (check dimensions rule in the manual) and braught to the Regional Contest
       Build a Model; average hours spent, 40; work until January 15th, 2016

Regional Competition includes Oral presentation on January 16, 2016
Oral presentation preparation; average hours spent, 7
Teams must explain their city design in a 7 minute presentation and answer questions asked by the judges for an

additional 8 minutes.

This year a Project Management component has been added to the competition.

  • National Competition – February 21-24, 2016, Washington D.C.

Regional winning team to stay in DC February 21st through February 24th.


General Information

I. Work as a team under the guidance of a teacher and a practicing engineer,
II.  Apply their knowledge to real world situations,
III.  See firsthand how engineers turn ideas into reality,
IV.  Use a popular award-winning computer game, SimCity
, to design their future city,
V. Build a scale model of a city section, and
VI.  Learn how engineers design a waste management system in their city by writing an essay.

VII. Learn Project Management Techniques

The Future City Competition requires:
I. Problem-solving
II.  Team work and Project Planning
III. Research and presentation skills
IV.  Practical math and science applications
V.  Computer skills

The competition employs a team-based approach. All members of the team have a role that is necessary for the completion of the project.

Team Composition
Engineer-volunteers come from:

· Local engineering firms
· Engineering Societies
· School business partner
· Parents of students who are engineers
· PTA (Parent/Teacher Association)

Role of the Teacher

The teacher is encouraged to participate in the competition as a facilitator and advisor to the team members. It would be helpful to point out examples of actual problems or successes they are experiencing in their future city through your local newspapers or other news sources.

Role of the Students
The students are the actual creators of their “future city” with the help and advice from their volunteer engineer and teacher. Students are to demonstrate sportsman-like behavior. Students need allow all team members to provide input. Where there is disagreement, measures should be taken by team members to agree on a compromise. It is through cooperation, that you will create a winning future city entry for the competition.

Competition Structure
I. Computerized design using the latest version of SimCity
TM provided by Maxis and available on cloud to registered schools.
II.  Physical scale-model of a city section
III.  Essay Challenge:
“DESIGN an Innovative citywide solid waste management system for your future city that is safe, environmentally sound and energy efficient”
IV.  Team verbal presentation

Phase I: Design City
In Phase I, the team will design its city using the latest version of SimCity
tm. Software resident in the Cloud is used for the virtual city design. Regional coordinator provides software CODES to each school for its usage. This will be done between October 30th and December 7th, 2015. Design rules are provided in the Educator Handbook, available at Futurecity.org/Resources. After design work is completed, the team prints out color poster-sized map of their city (optional). This copy is kept by the team and brought to the competition.

Team will upload the Essay along with Project Plan on December 7th, 2015.

Phase II: Essay Challenge / City Narrative
In Phase II of the competition, the students will write a 1,500 word essay combined with the narrative of the designed city.

Essay Challenge: “DESIGN an Innovative citywide solid waste management system for your future city that is safe, environmentally sound and energy efficient”.

Team will upload the Essay along with Project Completion Document on January 9th, 2016

Phase III: Build Model
In Phase III of the competition, the team will build a scale model of a section of the city. (Please note that it would be impossible to build a model of the entire city, since the SimCity
TM printout represents approximately 10 square miles.) The purpose of the model is to give a 3-D view of how one section of the future city would look. Building the model will be done between December 7, 2015 and January 15, 2016. Typically, teams spend an average of 40 to 60 hours on building their model.

Model Size 
The physical model must be no larger than 25”[W],X 50”[L]X20”[H], including all supporting braces, materials hanging below or beyond the tabletop, and all fully extended parts, [Check the dimensions and the rest of the details given in the Educator’s Manual]. The team will decide what materials to use to construct the model, such as Styrofoam, balsa wood, cardboard, clay or toothpicks.  They have to be inventive because of the cost limitations so that items such as soda bottles, L’eggs containers, candy boxes, empty cans and a variety of materials find their way into the models.

Moving Part
The model must contain a moving part, such as a transportation or communications component. If a power source is used, the power must be self-contained

Model Identification
Students post a 4″ x 6″ index card anywhere on the model containing the city name, school name, and the 5-team member names. The card must be visible.

Computer City Map
The Computer City Map representing the future city (created with the SimCity software) will be on display with the model.

Cost of Model Materials
The total cost of all materials used to make the model and including any other materials used in support of the verbal presentation, may not exceed $100 (cash or in-kind). Materials should be recycled as much as possible.

Phase IV: Verbal Presentation
The students will prepare a presentation discussing their city and its amenities. The maximum time for this presentation is 5 to 7 minutes and will be timed at both the regional and national competitions. The students will also be evaluated as a team on how well they can explain the design and function of their futuristic city. Students are encouraged to use flip chart or poster-sized materials to present their city to a panel of judges. The total cost of the materials used in support of the verbal presentation must be included in the $100 limitation.


The competition judging takes part in five phases:

Project Plan (Uploaded Dec 7th, 2015)

Teams prepare project plans to execute all phases of the competition and covering all deliverables. Project plan is submitted at the beginning and its execution details are submitted (uploaded) along with Essay.

Virtual City Design Judging (December 7th , 2015 – uploaded entry due for Judging)
After the virtual city design is uploaded by December 7
th, 2015, actual scoring/judging of each design will be done the online. By turning off various layers, the judges can view all of the critical elements of the cities and score them.

Essay /City Narrative Judging (one deliverable uploaded by January 9th , 2016)
Uploaded Essay/narrative entry will be judged on line on January 10
th-12th, 2016..

Preliminary Round Presentation Judging
This years regional competition will be held on
 Saturday, January 16th , 2016 at Gilruth Center, a public facility of NASA Johnson Space Center and accessible from Space Center Blvd. On the competition day, each team will present their city for seven minutes to a team of 3-4 judges. Then the teams will be questioned for an additional eight minutes to see how well they have performed their research. The judges are rotated in a matrix fashion to provide as even a judging as possible.

Final Round Presentation Judging
Using the score from the virtual design, essay/abstract, project plan/completion document and presentations, five teams will be selected to participate in the final round judging.  The five finalists will give their presentations to a team of celebrity judges to select the regional winner.

Competition Awards
All of the five finalists will be given certificates for first place, second place, third place and honorable mention (remaining two finalists). The first place team will have their model shipped to Washington, DC and the team will receive a trip to Washington to participate in the National Future City Competition during National Engineers Week,
 February 21st-27th , 2016. At the national competition all regional teams will compete for national awards and special awards by different organizations.

Special Awards
In addition to the competition awards, there are a number of special awards provided by corporations, technical societies to schools showing excellence in special categories such as transportation, energy distribution, waste water treatment, manufacturing, fire protection and many others.  (Last year we had 12 different special awards). The goal is to have the teams leave the competition feeling that they have been recognized for their efforts.

Dr. Zafar Taqvi
Regional Coordinator
9874 Sageaspen
Houston, TX 77089
Cell: 713-392-1280
e-mail –


Return to the top of page.