National Engineers Week

Regional Competition –
January 16 – 17, 2015

National Engineers Week

February 14-18, 2015

FC2014-2015 Houston and South Texas Regional Highlights – See Below

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

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

Future City 2015 Competition

Houston-Regional Competition FC2015 Key Dates

Schedule – Overall

  • School/Team Registration Deadline:  October 31, 2014
  • Phase 1 – Computer Design (disk & printout) delivery: December 7, 2014
    Design the City; average hours spent by the team: 18
  • Phase II – Local Competition: January 16 – 17, 2015
    01/16-17/2015 – Regional… Building MODEL- (check dimensions rule in the manual) bring to the Regional Contest
       Build a Model; average hours spent, 40; work until January 16th, 2015 Regional Competition:
    Oral presentation at the local finals; average hours spent, 7
    Team must explain their city design in a 7 minute presentation and answer questions asked by the judges for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Phase III – Local Competition: Saturday, January 10, 2015
    By Saturday, 1/10/2015Regional Essay and Narrative (both UPLOADED by the teams by 1/10/2015) – Oral at the Regional on January 17, 2015
       Essay: “Feeding Future Cities”; Check the manual for permissible number of words; average hours spent, 8.
    Work until January 10, 2015.
    Essay will be judged separately and given to competition judges prior to the competition.
  • National Competition – February 14 – 18, 2015, Washington D.C. Regional winning team to stay in DC February 14th through the 18th.


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 4 TM, to design their future city,
V. Build a scale model of a city section, and
VI.  Learn how engineers design a transportation system by writing an essay.

The Future City Competition requires:
I. Problem-solving
II.  Team work
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 behaviour. 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 SimCitytm provided by Maxis and downloaded via cloud to registeed schools.
II.  Physical scale-model of a city section
III.  Essay on the theme “Feeding Future Cities (Viz. Suburban gardening)” and a city narrative.
IV.  Team verbal presentation
Phase I: Design City
In Phase I, the team will design its city using the latest version of SimCitytm. Software is downloaded and the regional coordinator provides copies to each school for its validation and usage. This will be done between October and December 7, 2014. The program does not have a time limit on designing a new city, so the city may be designed to any year in the future. The only limitation is on the rate of development since all of the constraints present in building real cities (taxes, traffic congestion, pollution, etc.) and the time available.  After design work is completed, the team prints out color poster-sized map of their city. This copy is kept by the team and brought to the competition.

Phase II: Build Model
In Phase II 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 SimCitytm 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, 2014 and January 16, 2015. 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 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 III: Essay / City Narrative

In Phase III of the competition, the students will write a 1,000 word essay on the assigned theme and a 500 word narrative on their city.

EssayDetails – Theme:Feeding Future Cities ”

Essay Requirements
Essay theme is unrelated to your future city.  There is a penalty for exceeding the 1,000 word limit.

City Narrative
In addition, as part of the requirements, students will write a 500 word city narrative describing their city and some of its services. The purpose of the abstract is to give the judges a quick overview of the city.  There is a penalty for exceeding the 500 word limit.

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 four phases:

Virtual Design Judging (December 7, 2014 – Due for Judging)
During November, the future City virtual design uploaded by teams, which the students have prepared, will be gathered and uploaded for judging by 9 December. Actual scoring of each design will be done thereafter online. By turning off various layers, the judges can view all of the critical elements of the cities and score them.

Essay and City Narrative Judging (Both uploaded by January 10th)
By January 10, 2015, the essays and abstracts (city narrative) will be uploaded by the teams and distributed to a separate team of judges. They are also scored by the judges based on the competition criteria. They are made available to the presentation judges as background information at the regional competition.

Preliminary Round Presentation Judging
This years regional competition will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 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 and presentations, five teams will be selected to participate in the final round judging.  The five finalists give their presentations to, and are questioned by a complete new team of judges.

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 14-18, 2015. There, they will compete with teams from other regional competitions. They will be trying for one of the three national awards.

Special Awards
In addition to the competition awards, there are a number of special awards provided by corporations, technical societies and individuals 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 – Z.Taqvi@ieee.org


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