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 2023-24 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 2023-24 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 31 October by completing the online form. 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. 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

Electrify Your Future

Students write an essay that introduces their future city and provides a solution to this year's challenge-Develop a way to power your future city 100% by electricity that is generated from sources that keep your citizens and environment healthy and safe

Download the Junior Essay Requirements 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 (before it went 100% electric) and the impacts of producing electricity from non-sustainable sources.
  • Describe the future city’s main source of power for generating electricity (after it goes 100% electric).
    • How it works to reduce health and environmental impacts.
    • How it addresses and resolves the major issues from the past.
  • 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 4 December 2023. Late submissions will be accepted through 18 December 2023 (with penalty points deducted).

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: Electrify Your Future.
  • 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.
  • Model size will be no bigger than 25" (w) x 36" (l) x 20" (h).
  • The model is worth 70 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 Requirements for specific details.


Letter for teachers to print and send to parents of student competitors explaining the FC Junior program and timeline (Aug-2023).

Essay Resources

Model Resources

  • Future City Dashboard login and search for model activities/information on construction and scale
  • Model moving part (video)
  • Pictures of past junior models
  • Model video demonstrations were required during our two years of COVID virtual competitions: 2021 and 2022. These videos can provide an illustration of the best models and the teams' design concepts.

    Program Handbook

    The Future City Competition program handbook (download from Educator Dashboard) 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, City-Team Presentation, 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.
    • 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 Model, likewise, is simplified to focus 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 on-site at 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) may observe, but are not allowed to participate.

    Awards Ceremony and Announcement of Winners

    The results of the NTX Future City Junior Competition will be announced during the online Awards Ceremony 27 January 2024. 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 after due date - Minus 5 points
      • Essay 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 5-10 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 2 points
    • Model size - Exceeding the max dimensions for the model in any direction - Minus 15 points
    • >
    • Model materials - Reusing past model or using prohibited materials - 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. Or actions that malign, disparage, or harass regional volunteers - Disqualification

    2023-24 Schedule

    Thru 31 Oct Registration
    Oct-Nov Student teams research and write essay
    4 Dec 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.
    18 Dec Last date for Essay files.
    Files received by this date will have 5 points deducted.
    Competition Day -
    27 Jan 2024
    Competition location Tarrant County College-Trinity River Campus West

    Schools and Organizations

    2023-24 Registered Organizations (as of 1-Nov)

    • Armstrong Elementary, Sachse
    • Barton Creek Elementary, Austin
    • Central Athens, Athens
    • Como Community Center, Fort Worth
    • J Delaney Elementary, Kennedale
    • Dietz Elementary, Terrell
    • Donald Elementary, LISD STEM
    • Dyer Elementary, Krum
    • IW Evans Intermediate, Bonham
    • Founders Classical Acad, Schertz
    • Harmony School of Innovation, Grand Prairie
    • Harmony Science Academy, Garland
    • Harmony Science Academy, Grand Prairie
    • Homeschool, The Woodlands
    • Jerry Junkins Elementary, Dallas
    • Lewisville Sci & Tech School, Lewisville
    • Lorena Elementary, Lorena
    • Lowe Elementary, Princeton
    • A Martinez Elementary, Mansfield
    • Moore College & Career Prep, Grand Prairie
    • Nocona Elementary, Nocona
    • Oakmont Elementary, Crowley
    • RF Patterson Elementary, Arlington
    • Percy STEM Elementary, Arlington
    • Prince of Peace Catholic School, Lake Dallas
    • Roberta Tipps Elementary, Mansfield
    • Washington MS, El Dorado, AR
    • Woodland Elementary, Graham
    • Universal Academy, Coppell

Email Updates

Email Archive
05-Dec-23: Scale Model
17-Nov-23: Essay due 4 Dec
17-Oct-23: Getting Started
03-Oct-23: Theme Webinar
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