This is a sponsored post
With research showing that girls start losing interest in math and science during middle school, motivating this key age group to use their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math isn’t hard when they’re asked to use their skills to solve a real world challenge. This is the premise behind the Future City competition, a program that serves over 40,000 middle school students throughout the United States and around the world.
This year’s theme of Waste Not, Want Not required students to create Green Cities of the future. For this competition, middle school students were required to apply their engineering, design, and project management skills to a real world problem as they conceptualized and designed cities of the future. The four-month long process included research, design, solving an issue for their city, and building a scale model which was presented to a panel of judges at the finals that were held in Washington, D.C. over this past weekend.
Reasons to Get Involved in Future City
The Future City Competition has been proven to be an effective way for middle schoolers to use math and science to real world problems, discover different aspects of engineering, and become more informed citizens by learning how their communities work.
Take a look at some of the impressive outcomes of the program:
- 92% of educators reported that students learned how to apply math and science to real world problems
- 84% of students reported that Future City helped them see math and science as important to their future
- 65% of students said they could see themselves becoming engineers after their involvement in Future City
- 61% wanted to pursue more engineering activities or clubs thanks to Future City
- 90% reported that Future City helped them appreciate all of the engineering that goes into a city
- 63% said they were more aware of civics issues like politics and taxes because of Future City
Teachers, mentors, and parents also reported a huge improvement in participants’ 21 century skills such as teamwork, public speaking, project management, working independently, writing and research, and problem solving abilities.
How to Get Involved in Future City
Future City is a highly effective method of using problem based learning to motivate middle schoolers towards STEM subjects and one that is accessible to every student including the exceptional child, gifted and talented, girls, minority students, and low income students.
There’s tons of information about getting started on the Future City website but here’s what you need to know:
- The cost to participate is only $25 per team. A team can be 1-100 people but are often 3-30 students. The cost of registering provides a team with SimCity software, online trainings, a program handbook, eligibility for completions and prizes, and a STEM mentor who serves as the team advisor.
- Creativity, hard work, and dedication are emphasized and teams are limited to a budget of $100 for materials for their City Model and highly encouraged to use recycled materials.
- A helpful planning timeline lets students take control of the project management by laying out the work that should be done each month over the four months of the competition
- There is also a section about competition deliverables that inform teams about the documentation they need to provide through the engineering design process as they showcase their city of the future. Teams are judged and scored on all the deliverables.
For more information about Future City, visit their website, Facebook page, or sign up for the DiscoverE mailing list to stay informed about Future City and other programs and resources that engage students in engineering.
Future City is a DiscoverE program. The mission of DiscoverE is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration and volunteerism. DiscoverE supports a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.