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Future City Competition

Produced by Karen Smyles

December 2011

The mission of the National Engineers Week Future City Competition is to provide a fun and exciting educational engineering program for middle school students that combines a stimulating engineering challenge with a "hands-on" application to present their vision of a city of the future. It is one of 40 or more regional programs conducted throughout the country with the goal to introduce middle school students to the engineering profession.

The Philadelphia Regional Competition draws schools from Philadelphia and surrounding counties stretching to the  Atlantic Ocean or the boarders of neighboring regional competitions in New York, Baltimore, and Harrisburg. Students from middle schools in the region form teams consisting of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who work with a teacher and an engineer mentor from September to January.  

Registration for each year’s program begins in March and ends in October.  The cost to schools is a $25 registration fee and a maximum of $100 in materials to build the model.  The Philadelphia Program has involved from 30 to 50 schools each year since its beginning in 1995 and more than 10,000 students since its beginning.  The program provides the schools with the computer software, handbook with teacher’s guide, video CD orientation, prior competition videos, and assistance from the Regional School Coordinator.  

The culmination of the program is an all day judging competition in Philadelphia in January.  The first place Philadelphia Regional team travels to Washington, DC during National Engineers Week in February where they compete with regional teams from all over the country for the national prizes.  Philadelphia teams have always placed well nationally and in 2011 the national winners were from Our Lady Help of Christians School in Abington, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about the Future City Competition: