WSU hosts middle school engineering competition Saturday

PULLMAN, Wash. – Nine middle school teams from Washington and Idaho will compete at the sub-regional level for the national Future City Competition 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in the PACCAR Building at Washington State University.

The contest gives young students the chance to think like engineers and apply the engineering design process.

This year’s Power of Public Spaces theme challenges 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.

Participants in last year’s Future City Competition at WSU.

“There is no age too young to begin designing a way to make the world a better place,” said Cara Morton, an instructor in WSU’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the WSU coordinator for the program. “This program introduces students to the field of engineering and opens their eyes to the fact that someone designed everything they use in their lives.”

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.

The team that wins 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. For more information, go to See a video of highlights from last year’s competition at


Cara Morton, WSU civil & environmental engineering, 509-335-7847,
Tina Hilding, WSU Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture communications, 509-335-5095,