The Future City Competition Regional Finals for North Carolina middle school students is set for Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Talley Student Center on the campus of N.C. State University. The national finals will be next month in the nation’s capital.
Since the start of the school year, kids from across North Carolina have been working on their Future City projects as they address this year’s theme: Providing a Reliable and Effective Health Care Product or System That Improves a Sick, Injured or Disabled Patient’s Quality of Life and Comfort.
Now the moment of truth draws near as the regional finals are set to unfold in the Triangle.

Thirty-five regions from around the country will participate in the 19th annual Future City Competition. First-place winners from each qualifying regional competition earn a berth in the national finals in Washington, D.C., set to take place during National Engineers Week on Feb. 18-22.
The national finals grand prize is a visit to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., provided by national finals host Bentley Systems, Incorporated. The second place team receives $5,000 from the National Society of Professional Engineers and third place wins $2,000 from IEEE-USA for their schools’ technology programs. Shell is also a national sponsor for the competition.

Each year, Future City presents themes that highlight a current issue and asks kids to investigate and come up with solutions.
Participating students will use SimCity 4 Deluxe software to design a virtual Future City model incorporating their ideas. Then they will build a physical model using recycled materials which can cost no more than $100 to build.

Addressing how to treat a specific category of patient with a specific medical condition, students will explore options for the practice of both virtual and on-site medicine. They will detail the development of systems to support diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and rehabilitation and they will adhere to strict technical and ethical standards.

The Future City Competition attracts more than 33,000 students from 1,000 middle schools in regions across the country. The annual challenge has received national attention and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers nationwide to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
This year, for the first time, sixth graders are invited to join seventh and eighth grade students in the competition.

The 19th Annual Future City Competition is held from September 2010 through February 2011. The National Future City Competition is sponsored in part by National Engineers Week Foundation, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations. Major funding comes from Bentley Systems and Shell.

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