29th Annual Future City® Competition
Date: April 13, 2021

29th Annual Future City® Competition

Houston Region Wins Grand Prize


WASHINGTON DC, April 7, 2021 – A city of the future – SIDRA-XIV – engineered by students from Al-Hadi School of Accelerative Learning in Houston, Texas – has won the Grand Prize today at the 29th year of the prestigious international 2021 Future City® Competition. The students, Mansha Ali, Mariyam Fatima, Hani Mirza, Dayyem Raza, Fatima Razzak, Mahdi Rizvi,  Mohammad Ali Rizvi, Zainab Rizvi, and Sukaina Salim teamed with educator Syeda Batool as well as volunteer mentor Syed Rizvi, to earn this year’s top honors.

“This competition can help the future of this world, and event organizations like NASA solve problems for the future,” says 8th grader Mohammad Ali Rizvi. “What I appreciate about this competition is that I can take away many deliverables that I will use in the future, like the engineering design process. I can see using the engineering design process in many situations that I will be involved with in the future,” says 8th grader Mansha Ali. 

Since last fall, middle school students in 37 US regions, as well as teams from China, Canada, and Nigeria, have imagined, designed, and built cities for DiscoverE’s 2020-2021 Future City® Competition. This year’s theme, Living on the Moon, challenges students to design life on the moon at least one hundred 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. 

Al-Hadi School from the Texas (Houston) region takes home the Grand Prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for its school’s STEM program (provided by Finals sponsor Bentley Systems, Inc.). Their city’s solution is based on the model the team researched, developed, and presented.

Second place went to Warwick Middle School from Lititz, PA. The Pennsylvania (Central) region school earned honors for its city A1-Choros. The students, including presenters Claire Diffenbach, Linnea Miller, Jacob Soslow, and Austen Van Grouw, teamed with educator Michael Smith along with volunteer mentor Christian Kegel. Their school receives a $5,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Altera Domi - engineered by the Missouri region’s St. Clair Junior High School in St. Clair, Mo, took third place honors.  Their program receives a $2,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by Shell.

Honorable mentions for fourth place went to St John Lutheran School in Rochester, MI, from the Michigan region, for their future city Getaway Station Armstrong (GSA). Spartemis City – engineered by students from Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School in Burnt Hills, NY (New York Albany region) took fifth place. Each school receives $750 for their organization’s STEM programs, sponsored by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

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. For more information about Future City and volunteer opportunities, visitwww.futurecity.org

One of the nation’s leading engineering education programs and among the most popular, Future City has received national recognition and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering math (STEM). In 2017 Future City received a prestigious national award as a leading engineering education program. It was recognized by US2020 and co-founding sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services for its achievements and innovations in STEM education and its accessibility to underrepresented youth. 

In 2016, the Future City Competition received the 2016 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction, presented by Turner Construction Company and the National Building Museum.  

In 2015, Future City was named the grand prize winner in the UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) Innovative Education Award program and received a $100,000 award. The UL award highlights the essential, urgent and significant value of E-STEM education.  

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. 

About DiscoverE

DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations, and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences, and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org


Future City Competition - National:

Carina Sayles

Sayles & Winnikoff Communications

(212) 725-5200 ext. 210