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 2019-20 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 and the physical model deliverables. Download 2019-20 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 completing the online forms. 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.
  • Organizations with large groups may either
    • Enter multiple teams. Due to possible space limitations, organizations with more than TBA teams and models will need Regional Coordinator approval to present at UT Arlington.
    • 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.

Deliverable #1: Research Essay

Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow

Students write an essay that introduces their future city and provides a solution to this year's challenge-Clean Water: Design a resilient urban water system to maintain a reliable supply of clean drinking water.

  • First, students need to decide what their future city will be like 100 years from now. What is its population, geographic location, cultural preferences, unique characteristics, and community needs? Then consider a potential natural disaster or threat that might impact the city water supply. And finally, what future technologies and innovations will make the water supply system more resilient.
  • 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 29 November 2019. Late submissions will be accepted through 20 December 2019 (with penalty points deducted). Submit the essay in electronic form, in .doc format, by uploading to the FC Jr. Team Center.
  • The Research Essay is worth 60 points and will be judged according to the rubric criteria which includes understanding of the problem, quality of the solution, level of innovation, and writing skills.

Download Junior Essay rules and rubrics for specific details.

Deliverable #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.

  • Model will be focused on illustrating the team's solution to the annual challenge.
  • It will be built to scale.
  • It should include at least one moving part.
  • Model size will be no bigger than 25" (w) x 36" (l) x 20" (h).
  • 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.
  • The Physical Model is due on 25 January 2020. See Judging information below.
  • The model is worth 60 points and will be judged according to the rubric criteria with includes quality of design and workmanship, innovation and futuristic elements, and teamwork.

Download Junior Model rules and rubrics for specific details.


Orientation webinar and presentation pdf (8-Oct-2019)

Letter for teachers to print and send to parents of student competitors explaining the FC Junior program and timeline (Aug-2019).

Essay Resources

Model Resources

Program Handbook

The Future City Competition program handbook 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 and SimCity deliverables are NOT included in the Junior program.
  • There will be no formal oral City Presentation. However, the student team-members will have the opportunity to talk to the judges. See Model Judging information below.
  • 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 be smaller in size, focused primarily on demonstrating the annual theme, and to cost no more than $50
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 model will be judged by multiple judges (technical professionals) and the scores for each averaged then added together to come up with a composite/total score for each team.
  • The essay will be judged during Dec-Jan.
  • Model judging will take place at UT Arlington on the same date as the NTX Regional Competition.
  • While there will be no formal presentation by the students, the team will stand with their model during judging to briefly explain their research solution and answer the judges' questions.
  • Judges will spend approximately 5 minutes with each model display.
  • Adult team members (teachers, mentors) are not allowed to participate. They may stand quietly (out of the way, along the walls) and observe.


  • Future City Competition Junior will provide prizes for Best Essay, Best Model, and Best Overall Junior Team. Additional special awards may also be presented.
  • Prizes will consist of a cash award, gift cards for the students and a plaque/certificate.
  • Prizes will be presented during the Future City NTX Regional Awards Ceremony immediately following the Regional Competition.

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 after due date - Minus 5 points
    • Essay after final deadline - will not be scored at all
    • Note: Missing work does not disqualify a team.
  • Incomplete or missing Honor Statement - Minus 2 points
  • 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
  • Model ID - Missing all or part of Model ID - Minus 1-5 points
  • Model size - Exceeding the max dimensions for the model in any direction - Minus 15 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 - Disqualification

2019-20 Schedule

Thru 31 Oct Registration
Oct-Nov Student teams research and write essay
29 Nov Essay due
  • Submit in electronic format - .doc
  • Upload files through the Team Center
  • As a last resort, you may submit electronic copy by email
  • Files received by deadline will avoid late penalties.
    Late submissions are allowed - see below for dates and penalties.
20 Dec Last date for Essay files.
Files received by this date will have 5 points deducted.
10 Jan Honor Statement due
  • Upload files through the Team Center
  • Files received by deadline will avoid late penalties.
    Late submissions are allowed - see below for dates and penalties.
15 Jan Last date for Honor Statement
Honor Statements received by this date will have 1 point deducted.
23 Jan Media Waiver form due
  Complete online form (see instructions)
Competition Day -
25 Jan 2020
Competition at UT Arlington, Nedderman Hall

Schools and Organizations

2019-20 Registered Organizations (as of 31-Oct)

  • Andrews Elementary, Plano
  • JA Arthur Intermediate, Kennedale
  • Barton Creek Elementary, Austin
  • Chapel Hill Academy, Fort Worth
  • Corinth Elementary, Corinth
  • James Delaney Elementary, Kennedale
  • DiscoverSTEM, Plano
  • Donald Elementary, LISD STEM
  • IW Evans Intermediate, Bonham
  • Harmony Science Academy, Grand Prairie
  • Hatfield Elementary, Justin
  • Justin Elementary, Justin
  • Mary Orr Intermediate, Mansfield
  • Paragon Prep, Austin
  • RF Patterson Elementary, Arlington
  • Dan Powell Intermediate, Fort Worth
  • Prairie View Elementary, Rhome
  • Martha Reid Elementary, Arlington
  • Ruby Young MESMA, DeSoto
  • St. Andrews Catholic School, Fort Worth
  • Seven Hills Elementary, Newark
  • SMARTS Club, Frisco
  • Classical Center at Vial Elementary, Garland
  • The Village School, Houston
  • Washington Middle School, El Dorado, AR
  • Watson Technology Center, Garland
  • The Westwood School, Dallas
  • Gilbert Willie, Sr. Elementary, Terrell

Information for Competition Day

Detailed information and schedule for (25 January 2020) here.

Email Updates

Email Archive
13-Jan-2020: Details for 25 Jan
07-Jan-2020: Forms and due dates, Looking forward to competition day
18-Dec-2019: Essay last call, Model info
20-Nov-2019: Essay deadline approaching
11-Nov-2019: A Note about Competition Day
08-Nov-2019: Entering teams, Essay deadline approaches
10-Oct-2019: Teams, Mentors, Training Webinars
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