Frequently Asked Questions
- What is financial cost to organizations to participate?
- How does it work for home schools?
- Can groups other than schools register?
- Do we have to "compete" in order to participate?
- Do we have to complete all phases of the program?
- How does Future City fit with the teaching standards/requirements?
- Are educational organizations involved in the program?
- What are the region boundaries? Does the organization have to be in North Texas to participate?
- What is the role of the educator?
- How much time will the educator have to devote to the project?
- Do the students have to work in 3-person teams throughout the project?
- Is it necessary to have an engineer work with the students?
- What is the role of the engineer-volunteer?
- How much time will the engineer-volunteers have to devote to the project?
- What is the role of the students?
- How much time will the students need to spend on the project?
- Must all students from a team be from the same school/organization? Same class? Same grade?
- Can students in grades other than 6-8 participate?
- Can more than one team per organization compete?
- How are the entries judged?
- What are the prizes?
- How many software packages are available for each school/organization?
- Will I receive any instructions on how to use the software?
There are basically three sources of expense. organizations needing financial assistance should contact the Regional Coordinator.
- The registration fee is $25.
- There is cost associated with building the model and developing the presentation. Teams are limited to $100 (cash or in-kind) for the two phases. organizations may solicit support from local community organizations.
- For the national competition, the DiscoverE Committee will provide airfare and lodging for the winning team of the regional competition. Team members will be responsible for all additional expenses: ground transportation, meals, etc.
Home schools must complete and return the Home School Affidavit. Team members must all be home schooled and in the sixth, seventh or eighth grades. But they need not all be in the same class or home school.
Beginning with the 2012-13 term, approved youth groups, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boys & Girls Clubs may also participate in the Future City program. Contact the Regional Coordinator for details and to verify that your group is eligible.
No. You are welcome to pick and choose among the phases and components to fit with your education goals. NTX Region has a "partial participation" option. However, make sure to keep the region apprised of your plans.
No. In addition to the "partial participation" option mentioned above, teams will not be disqualified if they are unable to complete/submit a deliverable. Missing a deliverable will, of course, impact the team's final score, but, they may still be considered for a special award.
The Program Handbook documents how the Future City program meets the national standards for math, science, and technology education as defined by the Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the National Educational Technology Standards, the Principals and Standards for School Mathematics, and the National Science Education Standards. See also, the Resources section of the National Future City website.
The Future City Competition has been approved for inclusion on the National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities, produced by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) through its National Committee on Student Contests and Activities. The DiscoverE Committee is also working in cooperation with the MATHCOUNTS Foundation and the National Science Education Leadership Association. MATHCOUNTS is a major nationwide math coaching and competition program for seventh and eighth graders.
There are no specifically defined regional boundaries in the Future City program. Many regions are state-wide. In Texas, there are, at present, three regional competitions: North Texas, Central Texas, and Houston. We welcome any organization willing to comply with the rules and travel to DFW for the presentation of models and designs in January. organizations may participate in the North Texas Regional - regardless of location or proximity to the North Texas area.
The educator acts as the facilitator and advisor to the team. A Program Handbook is available with ideas for interdisciplinary and team teaching.
The educator's main jobs will be to schedule time for the students and engineer-volunteer to work together and to oversee all work done on the project. Educators spend approximately 30 hours on the competition work.
No, not necessarily in the North Texas region. Teamwork is an essential part of the program, but it is up to the educator as to how to implement it. During the computer, essay and model portions of the program, you may work as a class or group, in multiple classes, or teams of three or more. However, for the presentation, you must have a 3-student team.
Yes. While students will enjoy working with the computer software, the engineer brings practical experience and advice on designing and building the city. We want students to understand how technology impacts our lives. See tips for finding an engineer-volunteer.
The engineer serves as a mentor to the students. The engineer may be involved in all phases of the competition as an advisor to provide input and technical assistance and supplying real-life engineering experiences to the students as they work on the competition. The students must do all of the actual work.
The engineer should be available to provide advice and technical assistance to the students. It is hoped that s/he will be available whenever the students work on the project. If this is not possible, the educator should be available to provide advice and assistance. Typically, most engineers devote approximately 20-40 hours.
The students are the actual creators of their future city with help and advice from their volunteer engineer and educator. Students are to demonstrate team-like behavior. Students need to allow all team members to provide input and, in case of disagreement, work out a compromise.
On average, student teams spend 18 hours on city design, 40-60 hours on model building, 8 hours on essay writing, and 7 hours on presentation preparation.
For school-based registrants, the students must be from the same school, but they need not all be from the same class or even the same grade. For approved youth groups, the rules are similar - the students must be from the same group (ie., same troop, same club) and in the 6-8th grades. In addition, there can be no overlap of team members between registered school teams and youth group teams.
NTX has a program, Future City Junior, for 4-5 grades. High school students cannot participate as part of a team. However, they might be called upon (briefly) as advisors. High school students looking for a program similar to Future City should check out the Smart Competition.
Organizations may enter as many teams as they like - all can participate in the intial phases of the program. Due to space and time constraints, organization may only send 8 teams to present at the NTX Regional Competition preliminary round in January (without prior approval of the regional coordinator). Only one team per organization can advance to the final round. Organizations may also work as a class (or classes) and select three students (one team) that will represent them at the competition. Or, organizations may have multiple teams and hold their own run-off to select the best team(s) to represent them at the regional competition.
In general, they are judged on design, creativity and presentation. All deliverables will be scored by multiple judges - technical professionals from around the North Texas area. The individual judges scores for each deliverable will be averaged to obtain the final score.
The regional competition will select one overall winning team which will receive a trophy and travel to Washington DC to represent the Region in the national finals. In addition, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams will receive medals, gift certificates, and a check for the organization. The Region will also award special prizes for categories such as: Best Model, Best Essay, Transportation System Design, and Energy Efficiency. The national competition will award first, second and third place winners. First place wins a trip to the US Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Second place will win a $1000 scholarship for the organization's technology program and third place will win a $500 scholarship for the organization's technology program.
We provide you one software package with your organization's registration. Additional copies may be available by contacting the Future City National Program Manager.