CHICAGO– The Future City Competition announces its theme for 2017-2018—The Age-Friendly City. The State of Illinois Competition will be held on Sat. Jan. 20, 2018. This is the 26th annual international competition and middle school students are asked to envision an urban environment that keeps growing community of older adults active, engaged and independent. The State of Illinois competition has competed every year since the inception of the STEM program. Look for more details on the location soon.
Long-held assumptions about aging are being radically redefined. Older adults are living longer, staying in the workforce longer and living independently for longer than ever. This population is also growing and altering society’s overall demographics. By 2050, older adults will outnumber children under the age of 14.
In anticipation of this new reality, the World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined a plan to help cities respond to the particular needs of older adults. The organization’s approach recognizes that, as people age, they inevitably experience physical and cognitive change and risk isolation and loneliness. Planning for an older demographic means conceptualizing accessible and safe transportation options, barrier-free access to buildings and infrastructure, appropriate social welfare programs and open access to health care support and services.
With this pressing societal issue top of mind, the award-winning Future City Competition, now in its 26th year, announces its theme for 2017-18. This year, Future City is asking middle school students to respond to the issue of The Age-Friendly City and address the challenges in designing innovative solutions that can serve an urban area’s older population. Students are tasked with identifying age-related issues in their city planning and engineering a framework that enables seniors to remain active, independent and engaged.
Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students 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 41 US regions present their ideas at Regional Competitions in January. US regional winners then face off at the Finals in Washington, DC in February, where they are joined by a growing roster of international teams, including those from Canada, Egypt and China.
In the US, over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City® Competition. The deadline to register is October 31, 2017. Register today or learn more at www.futurecity.org. Visit our Facebook page for more information and updates on the Future City® Competition.
One of the nation’s leading engineering education programs and among the most popular, Future City has received national recognition and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In 2016, the Future City Competition received the 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction, presented by Turner Construction Company and the National Building Museum.
In 2015, Future City was named the grand prize winner in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) Innovative Education Award program, receiving a $100,000 award. The UL award highlights the essential, urgent and significant value of E-STEM education.
Major funding for Future City comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. The State of Illinois competition is seeking sponsors for its upcoming competition. If you are interested in sponsoring the event and helping students participate this year, contact Don Wittmer, P.E. at email@example.com, or Matt Miller, P.E. at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.
Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including mentors and regional coordinators. For information about Future City or to volunteer, visit www.futurecity.org
Future City® State of Illinois
The State of Illinois Future City Competition® is celebrating its 25rd year as a regional group in the national competition. The regional competition is comprised of teams, schools, and professionals from Illinois and nearby Missouri. In addition to the actual competition, Annual Chicago Engineers Benefit Dinner showcases the top local teams and award winners. For more information, visit our website here or go to http://futurecity.org/illinois-chicago.
For more information contact:
Future City® Regional Coordinator
Don Wittmer, P.E., HNTB
Future City® Regional Committee
Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB
Future City® Grant Manager, Communications and Media
Deborah J. Hodges, M.A. Golden Square