In a ceremony held on Tuesday, February 19, Bechtel joined DiscoverE, parents, guests, partners, and other corporate sponsors to celebrate the students from 43 schools in the U.S., Canada, China, and the Middle East who made it to the 2019 Future City Finals competition in Washington, D.C. The Future City program is a science and engineering focused competition that asks students to innovate, design, and build a virtual, futuristic city. This year’s theme—Powering Our Future— asked teams to design a resilient power grid for their city that could withstand and quickly recover from the impact of a natural disaster.

There’s no other low-dollar-entry middle school competition quite like Future City and opens students eyes to engineering in a hands-on way by encouraging them to build a city using SimCity™, an open-ended city-building video game. Students who compete in Future City represent 1,000 U.S. schools as well as teams from several other countries. During the 2019 season, the percentage of girls participating was 62 percent.

The Future City competition is a key organization for the industry as it introduces students to science and engineering concepts. Inspiring the next generation of engineers is a critical part of ensuring that there’s talent to engineer the next 100 years.

"I'm so inspired by the energy and ideas I saw shared by the students," said David Wilson, Bechtel's Chief Innovation Officer. “Some of the innovative ideas developed for the resilient city challenge will remain with the participants for years to come. These ideas will likely manifest themselves in many ways as the next generation pursues STEM related professions. I was blown away by the team’s creativity, passion, and ability to communicate a powerfully succinct message,” Wilson continued.

Highlights from 2019 Future City Finals Competition:

  • Future City Alumna of the Year, Cassandra Mitsinikos. Cassandra’s eyes were opened to the innovations made possible by engineering when she competed in a 2014 New Jersey Future City program. She’s now pursuing an engineering education at John Hopkins University.
  • The top five teams (Alabama, Idaho, Mid-Atlantic, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Central) competed in front of a live audience of 950 attendees and thousands of participants via live stream.
  • David Wilson shared how Bechtel is using innovative tools like drones, 3-D printing, and virtual simulation in the construction and engineering industry.

DiscoverE in partnership with Bechtel is keenly focused on supporting K-12 students and programs like Future City—together we are part of inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Check out the video to see and hear Bechtel leaders supporting Future City.