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National Future City Competition: AZ Region Kicks off 16th Year

The Future City Competition Arizona Region began its 16th year on August 3, 2012.  The registration deadline for elementary and middle schools that want to participate in this year’s competition is October 21, 2012.

The National Future City Competition was developed to help middle school students discover and foster interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related subjects and careers during the critical years of their education. It is a (STEM) based competition that provides a fun and experiential challenge for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.

The competition is open to all public, private, home, and parochial schools:

  • the program uses problem-based learning, including computer simulation, research and writing, presentations, scale model, and team building.
  • it is an integrated, multidisciplinary, holistic approach to relevant issues and is a strong example of STEM standards for national and state academic content.
  • three students create a team with a teacher and an engineer-volunteer.
  • regional competitions precede the national finals in Washington, DC in February, during National Engineers Week.

The student team from Malcolm X Academy in Detroit, MI participated in the White House Science Fair Competition on Feb 7, 2012. Here they talk with President Barack Obama.

Since the National Engineers Week Future City Competition began in 1992, it has been recognized by the education and engineering communities as an innovative program and has also been recognized by the White House. The National Science Educational Leadership Association has also endorsed the program.

An independent evaluation found that Future City is delivering on its educational promise and building 21st century skills:

  • 84% of educators reported an increase in students’ ability to apply their problem-solving skills and to work in teams.
  • 74% of educators saw an increase in students’ project management skills.
  • 80% of students now see math and science as important to their future.
  • a statistically significant improvement was shown in students’ ability to apply the design process.

Arizona Region

The Future City Competition Arizona Region is part of the National Future City Competition. It is a 501(c) 3 organization, supported by corporate and other donations and staffed solely by volunteers.  Our competition began in 1997 and encourages middle school students to explore STEM by presenting a set of technical challenges over a four-month season that each three-student team must address, culminating at regional finals in January.

1st Place Winning Team – City of Xiwang, School: Veritas Homeschoolers (Phoenix, AZ). First Row (left to right): Jesse Friedman, project manager, with team members Cambrie Hickman, Rachel Fisher, and Timothy Graunke; Back Row (left to right): Randii Wessen, PhD, special guest and speaker, Ken Ekstrom, engineer mentor, Mary Ann Ekstrom, teacher, and Michael Andrews, region coordinator

Our competition has grown since its humble beginnings in 1997. Last year was the 15th anniversary of the Arizona program.  We had:

  • 111 schools that participated
  • 41 competing schools
  • 96 teams participated in the region finals, and 190 teams participated in some aspect of the competition.
  • Representation from 52 Arizona school districts plus charter schools and home school programs
  • 254 teachers engaged their students in the program
  • 183 engineers working with the student teams as mentors

Again, registration for the Arizona Region competition is currently open and closes on October 21, 2012. For more information about the National Future City Competition, go to www.futurecity.org. For specific information about the local competition in the Arizona Region, go to www.futurecityarizona.org.

The Future City program takes place in more than 30 regions of the United States and there are trial programs in several countries. Thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers, and leaders in government and business participate in National Engineers Week each year.

This blog post will also appear as a news release for the Future City Competition Arizona Region. 

About the Future City Competition:  The Future City Competition is a national program sponsored by the engineering community to promote technological literacy and engineering to middle school students. The program fosters an interest in math, science, and engineering through hands-on, real world applications. The competition is open to all public, private and parochial schools. The National Finals of the Future City Competition are a featured event during National Engineers Week with students from across the country competing in Washington, D.C. for awards and prizes. The Future City Competition offers students a fun way to learn about engineering and cities of the future.

About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


One thought on “National Future City Competition: AZ Region Kicks off 16th Year

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    Posted by education leadership consulting | April 18, 2013, 3:50 am

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