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NEWS
Future City Competition Announces 2020-21 Theme
September 17, 2020

The dream of living on the Moon has inspired humanity for eons. Artists, writers, scientists, engineers, futurists and many others have vividly imagined what a thriving city on the lunar surface might look like.

Today, the challenges of sustained lunar living, while immense, are within our grasp to conceive of and plan for. With this goal in mind, the award-winning Future City® Competition, now in its 29th year, announces Living on the Moon, the 2020-21 theme for its project-based learning experience for middle schoolers.

Imagine life on the moon at least one hundred years from now, when lunar habitats have already progressed through multiple levels of development. What started as a collection of lunar landers expanded into an outpost, then a village and is now a city. The Future City challenge is to build on this history, describe its location, share its innovative features and provide a detailed description of how the city uses the Moon’s unique resources to create a self-sustaining home where humans can live, work and thrive.

During this coming school year, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from across the country and abroad will be asked to identify and tackle the many daunting challenges that are unique to living on the Moon, including no breathable atmosphere; gravity that is only 1/6 of that on Earth; nights that last for 14 Earth days; constant exposure to solar radiation; and dust that’s sharp as glass and gets into every crevice.

Working as a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); a project plan to help keep their project on track; a short video presentation, and a live, online Q&A session with a panel of technical judges. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place?

Each year, over 45,000 students, representing 1,500 schools and 50 regions in the US and abroad, take part in the Future City Competition. Teams present their ideas at Regional Competitions in early 2021. Regional winners then face off at the Future City Finals, where they are joined by a growing roster of international teams, including those from Canada and China.

In 2020-21, for the first time ever, the program has been adapted to today’s virtual world and both the regional finals and the Future City Finals will take place completely online. The Future City Finals are scheduled for April 2021. The exciting competition culminates with one team taking home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for their school’s STEM program (provided by Finals sponsor Bentley Systems).

The deadline to register for this year’s Future City Competition is October 31, 2020. Register today or learn more at www.futurecity.org.

Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including team mentors, virtual competition judges, and regional coordinators.

Major funding for the Future City Finals comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, NCEES, Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. Additional program support provided by NASA, UEF and PMIEF.


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