WASHINGTON — 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.
Since last fall, middle school students in 37 U.S. regions as well as teams in China, Canada, and Nigeria have imagined, designed, and built cities for the 2020-2021 DiscoverE’s Future City® competition. This year’s theme, Living on the Moon, challenges students to design life on the moon at least 100 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. Future City challenges teams to build on this history, describe the city’s location, share its innovative features, and provide examples of how the city uses the moon’s unique resources to create a place where humans can live, work, and thrive.
In January and February, each region held qualifying competitions to select which teams would compete at the Future City Finals. In early March, teams virtually connected with STEM professionals around the globe and answered questions about their cities.
Tune into the Future City Awards Celebration at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, April 7, to meet the teams and find out who earns top honors. One team will take home the grand prize of a trip to the U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for their school’s STEM program (provided by finals sponsor Bentley Systems). Watch live at futurecity.org, or on Facebook at facebook.com/FutureCityCompetition.
For the first time ever, the general public can help choose the winner of all the People’s Choice Award. Visit https://vote.futureicty.org through April 2 to see all the teams and cast a vote for your favorite.
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?
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 DiscoverE’s Future City Competition comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, Shell Oil Company and PMIEF. Additional program support provided by UEF, the Pentair Foundation and NASA. For more information about Future City and volunteer opportunities, visit www.futurecity.org.