Future City 2020: Evaluation Report

October 3rd, 2020 | EVALUATION

Future City, operating since 1992, is “a national, project-based learning experience where students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCityTM software, research and write solutions to an engineering problem, build tabletop scale models with recycled materials, and present their ideas before judges at regional competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February.

Future City’s cross-curricular educational program gives students an opportunity to do the things that engineers do—identify problems; brainstorm ideas; design solutions; test, retest and build; and share their results (i.e., the engineering design process). With this at its center, Future City is designed to provide an engaging way to build students’ 21st-century skills. Students participating in Future City are expected to:

  • Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues.

  • Develop writing, public speaking, problem-solving, and time management skills.

  • Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges.

  • Discover different types of engineering and explore career options.

  • Learn how their communities work and become better citizens.

  • Develop strong teamwork skills. 

Concord Evaluation Group (CEG) has conducted evaluations of Future City in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2020 to assess the degree to which Future City has achieved its objectives. This report summarizes the 2020 wave of data collection and, when appropriate, makes comparisons across years. 



Team Members

Christine Paulsen, Contributor, Concord Evaluation Group


Funding Source: Private Foundation


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13)
Discipline: Engineering | Technology
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Summative
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Making and Tinkering Programs | Public Programs