Education Through Entertainment

The Future Cities Competition

Posted on Fri, Jan 4, 2013

futurecity logo resized 600As parents and educators, we’re always trying to find new ways to get our kids involved in their own futures. Our kids go to school to learn the skills that they’ll need to be great adults, but it’s not just for them individually. We need their great ideas too! The world of adults needs to help shape the great kids of tomorrow, and lately, this focus has very much been on the STEM areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Enter the Future Cities competition, coming up throughout January and February.

Every year, middle school kids from across the country compete in a regional and (if they advance) a national competition to design the cities of the future. They’re tasked with creating 5 basic parts that will all be scored based on how viable the cities are in practice. The 5 pieces are: Virtual City Design, Research Essay, City Narrative, The Model and Team Presentation.

Using SimCity 4 Deluxe, your kids will be tasked with using video game interfaces they’re probably already familiar with to build a city for the real world, following up their design with the real engineering facts that back up those designs. They’ll craft a narrative for the city and what they think would make it operate effectively, followed with a scale model of the city using recycled materials. Finally, they’ll present all of their ideas at the regional competition.

In order to create a viable city, kids have to learn what that means in practice. In the course of the Future Cities competition they will consider storm water run off, ratio of parks to parking lots, residential/commercial/industrial implications of their decisions, and a myriad of other engaging topics. These will challenge your best and brightest to think in a pragmatic way, with the possibility of getting an all expenses paid trip to compete at the national level in Washington DC.

Check out the Future Cities page here and let us know what you think. Are your kids going or have you done it before? We’d love to hear about the great experiences you’ve had getting your kids ready for Future Cities and other events that challenge kids in unique ways!  

P.S. If you're in Michigan, we might just see you there!

Mark Bartholomew, Regional Sales Manger and avid lover of all things education!

Topics: STEM, Science education, engineering education, mathematics education