Registration for statewide middle school design contest now open

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Natural disasters — such as earthquakes, tornadoes or hurricanes — pose serious threats to cities and citizens.

The damage from these events can severely disrupt every aspect of life in an affected region. Especially now, in the wake of recent catastrophic events around the globe, engineers, architects and city leaders face the critical task of creating resilient cities.

With this issue in mind, the award-winning Future City Competition, now in its 27th year, announces its theme for 2018-19. This year, Future City is asking North Carolina middle school students to respond to the issue of “Powering Our Future” by designing power grids for their future cities that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.

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Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students may present their vision of the future through a virtual city design (using “SimCity” software); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. Teams from 40 U.S. regions will present their ideas at regional competitions in January.

The North Carolina regional final will be held on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the North Carolina State University McKimmon Conference and Training Center, located at 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh.

North Carolina regional winners then face off at the finals in Washington, D.C., in February, where they will be joined by a growing roster of international teams, including those from Canada, China and Egypt.

In the U.S., over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City Competition. The deadline to register is Oct. 31.

For information about Future City or to volunteer, people may visit

– Submitted article