Future City Junior - Team Center

This secure site will:
  • Allow you to set up teams
    • Add and change members
  • Allow you to upload Essays
    • Automatically time-stamp deliverables
    • Send acknowledgements for uploaded files
  • Obtain detailed scoring reports

The 2021-22 Program

The North Texas Regional will again offer a Junior program for 4-5th graders. This program is an introduction to the full (6-8th grade) Future City Competition effort. It includes the research essay, physical model, and video presentation deliverables.

Download 2021-22 rules and overview for the Junior program.

Please note: this program is only available in North Texas and a few other FC regions at this time.


Schools and youth organizations with 4th-5th grade students may register by contacting the Regional Coordinator. There is no registration fee at this time for the Future City Jr. program.


The students will work in teams. Teams consist of three 4-5th grade students, an educator and an engineer-mentor. (Suggestions on finding mentors.)

  • Students must be from the same organization, but not necessarily the same class or grade.
  • For 2021-22, teams may work in-person or remotely (collaborating online).
  • Organizations with large groups may either
    • Enter multiple teams. At this time, we do not anticipate having to limit the number of teams per organization, however, the possibility exists depending on schedule constraints.
    • Work as a class or group prior to the model showing, but select the three students (one team) that will represent the group at the competition.

Part 1: Research Essay

A Waste-Free Future

Students write an essay that introduces their future city and provides a solution to this year's challenge-Use the three principles of a circular economy to design a futuristic waste-free city. The three principles include:

  • design out waste and pollution
  • keep products and materials in use
  • regenerate natural systems

Download the Essay Requirements (coming soon) for a complete description. Briefly, the essay should:

  • Introduce the team's city - at least 100 years in the future.
  • Describe what the city and life was like in the past with a linear system: take-make-dispose.
  • Choose the most wasteful, polluting system (or systems) in your city and describe how you applied the principles of a circular economy to reduce and eliminate waste and the technology that facilitated the process.
  • The essay should be no more than 1,000 words and free of grammatical and spelling errors. It can include a maximum of four graphics. It should also have a bibliography that cites at least three sources of information.
  • The Research Essay will be due 19 November 2021. Late submissions will be accepted through 3 December 2021 (with penalty points deducted).
  • The Research Essay is worth 60 points and will be judged according to the rubric criteria which include understanding of the problem, quality of the solution, level of innovation, and writing skills.

Download Junior Essay Requirements for specific details and rubrics.

Part 2: Physical Model

Students build a physical scale model of a section of their city using recycled materials. This is the opportunity for the team to realize their vision of the city and see their ideas for the future come to life.

  • The Model will be built to scale (scale chosen by team).
  • It will illustrate the team's concept of their future city.
  • It will be focused on demonstrating the team's solution to the annual challenge: A Waste-Free City.
  • It should include at least one moving part.
  • The model will be built primarily of recycled materials. The total value of the materials used may not exceed $50 and must be reported on the Competition Expense form.

For 2021-22: To accommodate both in-person and virtual learning environments, there are two model building options for the 2020-2021 competition.

  1. Your team can choose to build one single model
  2. Your team can choose to build multiple model segments. These model segments are separate pieces that represent various sections of the city. Model segments do not need to fit together physically.

Download Junior Model Requirements for specific details.

Part 3: Team Model Presentation Video

Students team member record a short (max 7 minute) video presentation that that explains their model, their future city and their solutions to the Waste-Free Future challenge.

  • The video should last no more than 7 minutes.
  • It will be given by the three students that make up the official team.
  • It will focus on demonstrating the model (or model segments) and the solution to the theme.
  • It will provide a basic overview of the city and highlight the futuristic elements of the design.
  • The Model Presentation Video is worth 75 points. Scores are based on the quality of presentation content rather than elaborate video production..

Download Junior Model Presentation Requirements for specific details and rubrics.


Letter for teachers to print and send to parents of student competitors explaining the FC Junior program and timeline (Sep-2020).

Essay Resources

Model Resources

Model Video Resources

Program Handbook

The Future City Competition program handbook (download) has been written for the middle-school program and is a valuable guide for the teaching/leading the project. The Junior program has been simplified somewhat from the complete middle-school program described in the handbook. Specifically, for the Junior Competition:

  • The Project Plan, Model Slideshow, and Q&A deliverables are NOT included in the Junior program.
  • The Essay is shortened such that it need not include a detailed description of the city and the maximum word count is 1000.
  • The Model, likewise, is simplified to focus primarily on demonstrating the annual theme, and to cost no more than $50
  • The Video Presentation will concentrate on demonstrating the model and explaining the solution to the theme challenge. A formal presentation, with role-playing is not required.
Keeping these changes in mind, the handbook information on Team-building, Engineering Design Process, Project Planning, and City Planning may be useful as background.


The Essay and Presentation Video will be judged online by multiple judges (technical professionals). The judges' scores for each deliverable will be averaged. Those average scores will be added together, less any penalties incurred, to come up with a composite-total score for each team. Prizes will be awarded based on those scores.

Awards Ceremony and Announcement of Winners

The results of the NTX Future City Junior Competition will be announced during the online Awards Ceremony in late January (exact date TBA). Scores for individual teams and deliverables will be available for educators following the announcements.


  • Future City Competition Junior will provide prizes for Best Essay, Best Model, and Best Overall Junior Team.
  • Sponsors will also give out Special Awards recognizing accomplishments in various categories, such as: Green City, Energy Efficiency, etc.

Other Rules

  • Participants will comply with the basic rules of the Future City Competition program as laid out in the handbook and as modified in the soon-to-be-published Junior rules and rubrics.
  • Deadlines will not be extended. Teams making submittals after the deadlines will receive penalty points.
  • Any conflicts will be resolved locally. There is no appeal.
  • The judges' decisions are final.
  • Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable.
List of Penalties
  • Late or missing work. See Schedule for specific dates.
    • Essay or Video Presentation after due date - Minus 5 points
    • Essay or Video Presentation after final deadline - will not be scored at all
    • Note: Missing work does not disqualify a team.
  • Exceeding the maximum word limit on the Research Essay - Minus 10 points
  • Over budget or undocumented expenses - Model costs exceeding $50 or missing Expense Form - Minus 15 points
    • Incomplete expense form - missing receipts, not accounting for all major items, missing teacher signature - Minus 5 points
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct by team members or guests (includes rude behavior to judges, competitors, or disruption of another team's judging session) - Minus 20 points
  • Destruction of another team's model or presentation materials. Or actions that malign, disparage, or harass regional volunteers - Disqualification

2021-22 Schedule

Thru 31 Oct Registration
Oct-Nov Student teams research and write essay
19 Nov Essay due
  • Submit in electronic format - .doc
  • Upload files through the Team Center
  • Files received by deadline will avoid late penalties.
    Late submissions are allowed - see below for dates and penalties.
6 Dec Last date for Essay files.
Files received by this date will have 5 points deducted.
14 Jan Model Presentation Video due
  • Upload video to public viewing platform and record the URL in the Team Center
  • Files received by deadline will avoid late penalties.
    Late submissions are allowed - see below for dates and penalties.
21 Jan Last date for Video Presentation
Videos received by this date will have 5 point deducted.
29 Jan 2022 (tentative) Awards Ceremony
Announcement of Winners and Award Recipients

Schools and Organizations

2021-22 Registered Organizations (as of 31-October)

  • Andrews Elementary, Plano
  • Armstrong Elementary, Sachse
  • JA Arthur Intermediate, Kennedale
  • Barton Creek Elementary, Austin
  • BestVersionYouniversity Homeschool, Prosper
  • WE Chalmers Elementary, Gainesville
  • Dallas Area Explorers
  • J Delaney Elementary, Kennedale
  • Donald Elementary, LISD STEM
  • Elysian Fields Elementary, Elysian Fields
  • IW Evans Intermediate, Bonham
  • Harmony Science Academy, Grand Prairie
  • Keller Harvel Elementary, Keller
  • A Martinez Elementary, Mansfield
  • Moss Haven Elementary, Dallas
  • RF Patterson Elementary, Arlington
  • H Randall Elementary, Fruitvale
  • Washington MS, El Dorado, AR

Email Updates

Email Archive
19-Jan-2022: Last Call
07-Jan-2022: Model Videos due and other upcoming due dates
29-Nov-2021: Essay final deadline approaching
10-Nov-2021: NTX online system for competition management
Sign-up for Email Updates
Email updates for NTX Future City Jr. participants give you the latest information about the NTX program, including schedule, rules, deliverables, resources, and other need-to-know items. They are issued as necessary (about every 20 days) and are open to anyone involved (teachers, volunteers, parents, students).


Junior Competition Judging