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A DiscoverE Program




The Philadelphia Regional Future City Competition is a 501(c)3 educational outreach program of DiscoverE. It is one of 41 regional programs conducted throughout the country with the goal to introduce 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to the engineering profession. The program continues to be on the National Association of Secondary School Principals' National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities.

Future City Engages Kids in Engineering and So Much More...

This flexible, cross-curricular educational program gives students an opportunity to do the things that engineers do- identify problems, brainstorm ideas, design solutions, test-retest build and share their results. This process is called the engineering design process. With the process at its center, Future City is an engaging way to build students' 21st century skills. Students participating in Future City:


Students in the Greater Philadelphia Area work as a team from September to January with an educator and an engineer mentor to:

Registration for each year's program begins in March and ends in October. The cost is a $25 registration fee and a maximum of $100 in materials to build the model. The program provides the schools with the computer software, handbook with Educator's Guide, online orientation, prior competition videos and assistance from the Regional School Coordinator. The culmination of the program is an all-day competition in the Philadelphia area in January.

Program Impact

The Philadelphia Program has involved from 30 to 50 schools each year since its beginning in 1995 and has reaches over 10,000 students. Many team members were introduced to engineering for the first time through Future City and have since become engineers. 98% of mentors and 91% of educators said they would recommend Future City.


Competition Awards: The top six teams in the morning preliminary round compete in the afternoon regional finals, with the first place team going to the National Competition in Washington, DC during National Engineers Week in February. The Philadelphia teams have always placed well nationally and in 1999 took first place. The top national team gets a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL.

Special Awards: In addition to the regional awards for the six finalists, the regional program also provides "Special Awards" in a number of areas related to the engineering of cities, provided by our many sponsors. These awards provide the students the opportunity to present their cities to more than just the competition judges and provide them with a feeling of accomplishment even if they were not a finalist in the competition. Last year, there were over 40 special awards presented and every team went home with at least one award. Additionally, all of the teams were provided with Future City tee shirts and various other items.

Who runs Future City Philadelphia?

Future City Philadelphia is volunteer run and depends on the support of the entire engineering community. Over 200 volunteer engineers work on the program each year as committee members, mentors, judges and general support. The mentors have the most rewarding part in the competition since they have the opportunity to directly share their engineering expertise with the students, working with them to develop their cities and presentations.

We Need YOU to Get Involved!


Click HERE for more information and to sign up as a volunteer.


Click HERE for more information and to sign up as a sponsor.


Still have Questions? Contact our Regional Coordinator, Jennifer Wetzel: coordinator@futurecityphilly.org , (215) 573-3935