Frequently asked questions

1. How is the Future City Experience different from the Future City Competition?

The goal of the Future City Experience is to provide educators and students who have not participated in the Future City Competition an opportunity to test out the program without having to make the full commitment of the competition. The Future City Experience is for teachers that are NEW to Future City.  The Future City Experience is also completely virtual, whereas the Future City Competition is in-person. The Future City Experience does not involve a competitive aspect; the objective is for students to receive feedback from engineers and to get their project “stamped” by the engineers.

2. What educational supports do you have available to support this initiative?

Future City Experience 2024: Climate Change

3. What is the cost?

Program registration is FREE. Registered classes/groups will receive access to helpful resources, a live teacher information session, the virtual kick-off event (where your students can ask live questions to a panel of experts), and the opportunity to join the final Showcase event! Each class will also be paired with an engineering mentor who will provide guidance and support (a minimum of three virtual visits with your class). Note - some costs may be incurred for the model builds. You can keep costs to a minimum by using materials that are readily available and get creative by reusing household items (for example, yogurt containers, egg cartons, plastic bottles, etc.). Models can also be built virtually using many free online programs (eg. Minecraft, TinkerCAD, etc.)

4. What resources are provided?

Resources include teacher tools (presentation template, relevant references, student handouts, etc.). Classes will also be paired with an engineering mentor who will visit their class a minimum of three times to provide guidance and support. Students will have the opportunity to learn more and ask specific questions to a panel of experts at the live kick-off event. Teachers will also be invited to a live information session with the program support team.

5. I have an individual who wants to participate. Is that ok?

Our recommendation is that this program is done in groups. Teamwork is an important part of engineering!

6. Can models be built virtually?

Yes! This program is very flexible. We've seen classes get very creative with their model builds over the years! Here are some of the ways teachers and students have adapted to make the program work for them:

  • The most traditional: A class is divided into groups (approximately four to five students each) and each group designs and builds their own model.
  • For online/virtual classes: Similar to a brick and mortar experience, students can be divided into groups to design their models. Builds can either be done with materials they have available to them at home (each student could work on one section of the city model), or they could work together building their city virtually (with programs like Minecraft or TinkerCAD).
  • Modified full class build: If you have limitations on space, or prefer to just build one model of a city you might consider dividing the class into groups and then each group is assigned one section/segment of the city. For example, each group could be assigned a zone as follows: Residential zone, Commercial zone, City services, Infrastructure, Transportation, etc.
  • Modified full class build (virtual): Same as the brick and mortar recommendation above, but each segment/zone is designed and built with a virtual program (eg. Minecraft, TinderCAD).

7. What happens at the Showcase? How are winners determined?

The Showcase is the culmination of the Future City Experience. It's an opportunity for students to present their designs to a panel of engineering experts. It's an important part of the engineering experience! To be clear, the Showcase is NOT a competition (meaning that "winning teams" are not selected). Each presenting group will have the opportunity to showcase their design and receive live feedback from a panel of engineering experts. The engineering panel will decide if the design is worthy of receiving an engineering "stamp" of approval, or make recommendations for some re-design considerations.

The Showcase includes an opening ceremony, the opportunity for students to receive feedback on their models from a team of engineers during a private session, and interactive STEM activities for everyone. Teams will be recognized for outstanding performance and innovation with successful submissions receiving a “stamp” of approval from an engineer. Select teams may also receive special media attention and recognition for their engineering achievements.