The National Engineers Week Future City CompetitionTM each year
invites middle school students nationwide to create cities of tomorrow.
The competition encourages interest in math, science and engineering
through hands-on applications.
The National Engineers Week Future City CompetitionTM, which each year
invites young people to create a city of tomorrow. What began in 1992 as
a modest project to encourage math and science skills and lay the
foundation for a career in engineering has become the nation’s largest
engineering education program, this year expected to reach 30,000
students in 1,100 schools.
winners from 37 regional competitions held in January receive an
all-expense-paid trip to the Future City National Finals in Washington,
D.C., February 21-23, 2005 during Engineers Week. Grand prize is a trip
to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
competition asks students, working in teams and under the guidance of a
teacher and a volunteer engineer mentor from the community, to design a
city of the future and include a plan that helps meet a particular
build their cities first on computer using SimCity 3000 software,
donated to each school by Maxis, a division of Electronic Arts, and then
in large three-dimensional scale models. They must also write an
abstract describing their city, and an essay in which, this year, they
must answer, "How can futuristic transportation systems efficiently use
aggregate materials as a basic construction product?"
to use aggregates – crushed stone, sand and gravel – in imaginative and
efficient transportation systems may sound far-fetched at first, but
Future City purposely directs participants to incorporate real
engineering challenges into their plans and this year is no different.
With thousands of roads, bridges, and railways in need of repair and
increased traffic straining budgets, the effective use of basic
transportation construction materials will become a pressing topic.
create any kind of city or transportation system, but as they devise
monorails, people movers, bike paths, or freeways, they will be giving
extra scrutiny to urban expansion, environmental issues, and
sustainability with achievable, measurable results.
middle school students to wrestle with the complexities of roadbeds,
crushed rock, and all the rest may sound difficult, and it is,” says
Carol Rieg, Future City's National Director. "But, it’s that very
complexity that makes this program so popular. Whether it’s in the class
curriculum or an after-school project, kids clamor to be part of Future
City because they’re drawn to the challenge.”
student’s interest in engineering is piqued, then all the better, say
the professionals from every engineering discipline who praise the
program for reaching young people at a critical time in their education.
The hands-on lessons in practical math and science can prove critical in
maintaining studies through high school, giving students the skills they
need to pursue engineering in college.
Engineers Week Future City Competition is sponsored in part by the
Engineers Week Committee, a consortium of professional and technical
societies and major U.S. corporations, dedicated to increasing public
awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession and technology.
Engineers Week 2005 is co-chaired by the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME) and BP, p.l.c. Heading the Future City Competition
Leadership Council is Bentley Systems, Inc., and sponsor of the 2005
Future City Essay question is the National Stone, Sand and Gravel