Official Competition Rules


  1. The Future City Competition is for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students only, who are enrolled in a public, private, parochial, or home school environment or are members of a nationally, regionally, or state-recognized organization, such as the Boy or Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H. (if you are not sure if your organization will qualify, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The Future City program has sole authority to determine whether an organization constitutes a nationally, regionally, or state-recognized organization.

  2. Student team members must be from the same school or organization.

  3. A student cannot be on multiple teams (e.g., a team at school and a team from a recognized organization).

  4. Organizations may register in only one region or sub-region per year. If they wish to transfer to a different region, they must petition and obtain the approval of the Regional Coordinator and the Program Manager. Teams must commit to a speci c region by October 31, 2016.

  5. You may have as many students working on the project as you wish, but only three students can represent your educational institution or organization by giving their team’s presentation and answering questions at the Regional Competition and Finals Competition. In addition, one educator (any educational professional) and one mentor are recognized as part of the of cial team of ve members but may not participate in the competition presentation or answer questions from judges. (because of the nature of the competition, a mentor from the engineering community is preferred, but a mentor can be anyone involved in a technical profession.)

  6. The team members that compete in the Finals Competition must be the same team members who won the Regional Competition. At the time of registering your team(s) for the Regional Competition, you may select one student who can act as an alternate for both the Regional and Finals Competitions. The alternate can only be utilized if one of the original three presenters cannot compete due to illness or family emergency. The alternate can only compete upon the approval of the Regional Coordinator and the Program Manager.

  7. At least 20 schools/organizations must be registered in a region by October 31, 2016 in order for that region’s winner to advance to the Finals Competition.

  1. Home school parents must submit a Home School Affidavit to their Regional Coordinator stating that the students are covering material in the 6th, 7th, or 8th grades.

  2. If deadlines are missed at the Regional or Finals level, points will be deducted from the score.

  3. At regional competitions, only one team from a school or organization can advance to the final round of judging. At competitions with a single judging round, only one team from a school or organization may be awarded a place in the top ve overall teams.

  4. Winnersofasubregion’scompetitionwilladvanceto compete at the Regional Competition.

  5. All team members must sign the Honor Statement and submit it in accordance with the schedule set by the Regional Coordinator.

  6. Judges evaluate each deliverable in accordance with the rubrics. The score a judge assigns is final.

  7. Decisions are final. Teams will not receive raw scoresheets or be able to review scores from individual judges.

  8. In the event of a dispute at the Regional Competition, the Regional Coordinator will lead an investigation and render a decision. This decision is final. There is no appeals process.

  9. Actions or comments from team members or team supporters that malign, disparage, or harass Regional Coordinators or volunteers will result in the team’s disquali cation.

  10. Any complaints must be lodged by the official team educator.

  11. For the Finals Competition, each Future City participant is solely and exclusively responsible for his or her health insurance coverage. Future City provides no coverage prior to, during, or following any Future City event and Future City assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the provision of any health insurance coverage.

  12. In the case of a tie at the Regional Competition, the team with the higher presentation score will be awarded rst place. If the tie still remains after that, the team with the higher model score will be awarded rst place.

  13. Educators can see their team’s average scores by log- ging into following the Regional and Finals Competitions. Teams will not receive raw score sheets from judges or further breakdown of scores. Educators may download their team’s score information by following instructions at before February 28, 2017. After February 28, 2017, scores will be erased from the database.

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Appendix: Competition Information



21. A person who volunteers in the capacity of a judge (at any level) during the competition cycle may not serve as
a mentor or an educator during that same cycle. Nor may they provide guidance, coaching, or tips or the like to any active team member, educator, or engineer mentor during that same competition cycle. If violated, that judge’s scores will be invalidated.

Virtual City Design (SimCity)

  1. Teams are not allowed to create their city using SimCity’s Sandbox mode.

  2. Cheat codes are discouraged but not forbidden.

City Essay

  1. Students must submit a reference page citing at least three sources of information with the essay. (Note: Wikipedia cannot be cited as a reference.)

  2. The City Essay maximum word count is 1,500 words.Total words will be determined by the word count tool within the word processing software. Word count does not include the title and reference list but does include captions of graphics and illustrations. A maximum of four graphics/ illustrations are allowed. A 10-point penalty will apply if word count exceeds 1,500.

  3. Upload your team’s City Essay as a word processing document, not as a PDF.

  4. If a team’s City Essay is determined to be plagiarized, the team will earn zero points for the deliverable.

City Model

  1. Teams must design a new model each year that represents original work. Teams are not allowed to use previous years’ models. However, previous models may be broken down and scavenged for materials including the model platform. Any previously used materials must be recon g- ured in a new and original manner and assigned a current market value.

  2. No perishable or food items may be used for building materials. Use of live animals is also prohibited. If water is used on the model, it must be self-contained or drainable.

  3. Due to shipping constraints, the city model must be no larger than 20” high, 50” long, and 25” wide, including all supporting braces, materials hanging below or beyond the tabletop, and all fully extended parts, such as access doors and hinged pullouts. Failure to comply with the physical model dimensions will result in a 15-point penalty.

  4. Vertically oriented city models are not accepted.

  5. The city model must contain one or more moving parts.

  6. Any power source must be self-contained, (e.g., a house- hold battery and simple circuit). Use of electrical wall or oor outlets is not allowed.

34. The total value of the materials used in the city model, city presentation, and special awards (including visual aids, costumes, color copying/printing, three-dimensional printing, and other demonstration aids) may not exceed $100. Failure to comply with valuation of model and sup- port materials will result in a 15-point penalty.

35. All materials used must be listed on the Competition Expense Form and their value documented for both presentation and special awards. This includes donated items at fair market value.

36. A team may use two distinct scales if they are clearly de ned, easily determined by sight and indicated on their index card. A maximum of two scales may be used.

37. Rotating city models are acceptable. The model will be measured from the tabletop up, including dimensions of any turning device below the model itself.

38. Use of three-dimensional printers for any model materials must be assessed using the following values:

Regular (white) three-dimensional printing: $2.00 per cubic inch

Color three-dimensional printing: $5.00 per cubic inch


City Presentation

  1. Regional Competition: Student presentations may not exceed 7 minutes. When the timer signals time, the team must stop their presentation. Question and answer sessions immediately following the presentation will be 5–8 minutes as determined by the Regional Coordinator.

  2. Finals Competition: Student presentations may not exceed 7 minutes. When the timer signals time, the team must stop their presentation. Presentations are followed by a 5-minute question and answer session. If the team’s presentation is under 7 minutes, the question and answer will be extended until a total time of 12 minutes is reached.

  3. Laptop computers, overhead projectors, DVD/video players, battery-operated audio equipment, and any mobile device may not be used for the presentation.

  4. Visual aids, such as flipcharts, foam boards, and poster boards must not exceed the following limitations: one visual aid displayed at a time (e.g., a stack of signs displayed one at a time resting on an easel) can be up to 60” x 36”; two visual aids displayed concurrently (e.g., two stacks of signs on separate easels) can be up to 30” x 36”. The size limitations do not include easel stands.

  5. With the exception of handouts/brochures (limited to one 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper) and costumes, any other dem- onstration aids including pointers, small mock-ups, and musical instruments used to assist with the presentation must collectively transported within a 6” x 6” x 12” volume (e.g., a shoe box).


Arizona Rules

  1. Any conflicts will be resolved locally. There is no appeal.
  2. Prizes are neither transferable nor exchangeable.
  3. The judges' decisions are final.