ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Middle school students are taking part in the annual Future City competition with this year’s theme of climate change. Students are tasked with answering the question: what will future cities look like if today’s cities begin to adapt to climate change and install mitigation strategies to combat climate change?

150 6th, 7th and 8th graders from ten upstate New York schools will be competing in the regional finals of the annual Future City challenge. The Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) challenge is set to take place on January 14 at the Armory at Sage College in Albany. This year will be the first time the challenge returned to a live format since 2020.

Participating schools

  • Berlin Middle School, Berlin Central School District
  • Blessed Sacrament School
  • Broadalbin-Perth Middle School, Broadalbin-Perth Central School District
  • Coxsackie-Athens Middle School, Coxsackie-Athens Central School District
  • Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central School District
  • Koda Middle School, Shenendehowa Central School District
  • Schalmont Middle School, Schalmont Central School District
  • St. Thomas the Apostle School
  • UAlbany STEP, University at Albany Pre-College Program
  • William S. Hackett Middle School, Albany Public Schools

The competition has students work as a team with an educator and STEM mentor. Students present their vision of the future through a 1,500-word essay; a scale model of their city built with recycled materials; a project plan to help keep their project on track; and a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. Students are then asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place? First place winners from each qualifying regional competition receive a trip to the national Future City Competition Finals in Washington, D.C., February 18-22. Students from Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School won first place in the 2021-2022 competition, representing Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.