This week, 1150 students from 4 provinces across Canada participated in the 2024 Future City Showcase, hosted by Engineers Canada, Engineers of Tomorrow, and Ontario Tech University on May 8, 2024.   

Working in teams, students in Grades 6 through 8 spent February through April using the engineering design process to create a scale model of a city adapted for climate change. They presented their designs during the virtual Showcase to a panel of engineering volunteers to receive feedback, and to have their future city stamped as ‘ready to launch’ or ‘test and redesign.’   

This is the fourth year of the Future City Experience. Launched in February 2021 as a Canadian pilot program, the Future City Experience is an abbreviated version of DiscoverE’s Future City Competition, which asks students to use the engineering design process to research, design, and build a scale model of a city 100 years into the future. The Future City Experience is intended for teachers and students who have never participated in the Future City Competition before and is designed to provide enhanced support to educators in creating positive engineering experiences for students through mentorship with engineers.     

Engineers Canada partners with Engineers of Tomorrow to recruit, train, pair, and support engineering students and engineers who volunteered to serve as mentors for participating classrooms. In total, 82 engineering mentors were matched with classes to act as Future City mentors, and they virtually visited their paired classrooms at least three times between February and April to connect with the students and help them design their climate resilient cities.    

Students participating in the Showcase heard a keynote from Senator Rosa Galvez, who is a leading expert in pollution control and its effect on human health. She also specializes in climate issues such as water and soil decontamination, waste management, sustainable development, and climate risk.   

Gerard McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, and Jeanette Southwood, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, from Engineers Canada, also addressed the students and congratulated them at the virtual Showcase.    

Like any collaborative effort, the Future City Experience wouldn’t have been possible without the support of many organizations, volunteers, educators, and students.    

“We also owe a debt of gratitude to our dozens of engineering volunteers,” said Kim Bouffard, Manager of Belonging and Engagement, from Engineers Canada. “They made classroom visits and participated in our live Q&As and in the Showcase to make this an educational and fun experience for the 1150 students who were inspired to think about what life would be like in a city adapted for climate change.”