This review was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Future City was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.
I was given the awesome opportunity to attend the Future City Competition National Finals in DC. To be honest, I had no idea what this event was when I was invited. However, the more that I read about this awesome competition, the more I was intrigued in what the Future City Competition was doing for our future! I was also super excited to learn that this year is the 25th Anniversary of the Future City Competition.
What is Future City?
Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include stormwater management, urban agriculture, and green energy. The 2016-2017 topic is the Power of Public Space.
Students present their solutions via a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February. After the competition is over, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, they are poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.
Future City National Finals
The National Finals were held at the Capital Hilton in D.C. and in a large ballroom. There were 40+ displays from all over the nation and even some international participants this year. As I walked around the ballroom, I stopped and checked out numerous displays and chatted with several of the students that worked hard on these future cities.
The team from Alabama submitted a future city named Mauri.
It was so neat to see how the teams re-used every day materials to build these future cities. For example, in the model above we see a lot of things like night cream containers and even nail polish bottles.
This year, there were some international teams that joined in the Future City Competition — we chatted with the teams from China, Canada and Egypt! Check out their cool Future Cities!
The team from Hubei China loved to admire their model ;).
The team from Canada said it was snowing back home. It was beautiful weather here in D.C. so they were enjoying it as much as we were. How cool is their model?
Many of the models had some awesome effects, like moving parts or waterfalls and the like. I enjoyed seeing the models in action.
Each team had three masterminds who each had a speaking part to share what made each future city great. I truly enjoyed chatting with the students and seeing their passions for innovation come alive.
Not only were these kids super excited to be in DC, they were super motivated to chat about their awesome future cities. The girls above from Georgia had CARE City and were very interested in answering any questions we had about the city. A lot of the teams used acronyms to describe their city – CARE stands for Clean, Active, Resourceful and Energy Efficient.
One of the goals of the competition was to reuse things around the house to create the model. The team above used a flip phone to make their welcome sign for Resurgence, their city!
While chatting with the team from Kentucky, we found out that their favorite part of the model was the RC Factory turned Hospitality and Tourism Center. It is fun to hear from the students what their favorite parts of their models are!
The team above was from our local area – Mid-Atlantic. They’re from Virginia and were so nice to talk to just like the other teams in the competition.
The Future City Competition National Finals was such an awesome experience. I was on the floor while the judges went around to do the official judging and had the awesome opportunity to chat with students from all over the nation and world about their models and vision of the future. It is such an inspiration to see this sort of creativity in our future generation! Our future is certainly bright!
Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future.
Students participating in Future City:
- Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues
- Develop writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills
- Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges
- Discover different types of engineering and explore careers options
- Learn how their communities work and become better citizens
- Develop strong time management and project management skills