future city logoPULLMAN, Wash. – Middle school students from throughout eastern Washington, Montana and Idaho will compete Saturday, Jan. 13, at a subregional Inland Northwest Future City Competition at Washington State University.

This year’s competition theme, “The Age-Friendly City,” challenges Future City teams to design a network of innovative, multiuse public spaces throughout their city. The students design a virtual city using SimCity software, then build a scale model of a section of their city using recycled materials and including at least one moving part.

Cara Morton

“The Future City competition is great because it explores solving social science issues through engineering technology,” said Cara Morton, an instructor in WSU’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the WSU coordinator for the program. “No matter what you’re interested in, there is going to be an aspect of Future City to dive into and get excited about.”

Students in the Future City Competition learn to apply concepts from the classroom to a real world problem. Students also develop writing, researching and public speaking skills, in addition to sharpening project management abilities and getting a first-hand look at how an engineer would tackle a problem.

A few of the Future City teams at WSU 2017
A few of the Future City teams at WSU 2017

One of the student teams competing Saturday is from Moscow Middle School, which received mentoring on their project from engineering and architecture students from Washington State University.

Winners of this weekend’s competition earn a $1,000 cash prize for their school. The winning team will go on to compete at the regionals in Seattle. If they win there, they will go on to compete nationally in Washington, D.C., in February.

Saturday’s Future City Competition runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the PACCAR Building on WSU’s Pullman campus, and includes free tours of the university’s engineering facilities.

For more information, go to http://futurecity.org/region/judges-0.



  • Cara Morton, WSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 509-335-7847, morton@wsu.edu
  • Somayeh Nassiri, WSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 509-335-5574, snassiri@wsu.edu
  • Brett Stav, WSU Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture communications, 509-335-7189, stav@wsu.edu