Future City Pittsburgh Volunteer Opportunities
The Pittsburgh Region is beginning its 15th year in the National Future City Competition. The number of Middle Schools that have registered in the Pittsburgh Regional Competition has grown each year. The Competition's growth is testimony to the program's unique capacity to challenge students to learn and test new concepts related to engineering and city planning, to apply the mathematics and science they have already learned, to explore their imaginations about what our Cities will be like in the future, and to build an example of the result using ingenuity and their own hands. But another facet of the Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition that has allowed it to expand is the associated growth of a cadre of dedicated volunteers. Because without volunteers, there would be no Competition.
Volunteer as an Engineer Mentor - Starting in late August, the Competition begins to recruit volunteers to act as the Engineer Mentor for each of the schools that would like to enroll. The Mentor meets with the student team and the teacher at regular intervals from October through Competition Day, on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Serving as a Mentor may require from 30, to as many as 40 hours of your time, and although there must be only one official Engineer Mentor, we may assign two mentors as co-mentors at some schools, to spread the load and increase the student's contact with engineers.
The mentor's first responsibility is to guide the students through, what might be described as, the project development process. The students must become familiar with the Competition's requirements and rules, and the schedule for deliverables. The students will need to develop their own plan and schedule for completion of their project and divide and assign responsibilities for various tasks. And of course, the students must assess unexpected difficulties and occurrences and revise their plan and schedule.
The mentor's second responsibility is to teach the students about the various engineering disciplines, and the role that engineers play in building and maintaining a city. Before the deadline for school enrollment, October 15, 2013, we estimate that we will need to identify as many as thirty volunteers to act as Engineer Mentors.
Volunteer as a SimCity Disk Judge - The teams will submit their SimCity design for the first round of the Competition on November 15, 2013. Once a volunteer has gained some experience in using the SimCity software, it takes about 15 minutes to judge a City. Since each team's SimCity disk is judged by three different judges, and we expect as many as thirty schools to submit them, we anticipate a need for ten to twenty judges. Judging will be done at work or home with a suitable computer. As judges complete their scoring they will submit the scores by internet on the National Future City website.
Volunteer as an Essay Judge - On December 16, 2013, the Essays and Narrative are due for the second round of the Competition. Each essay and Narrative will be judged by three different judges, with each judge scoring several submittals. We anticipate a need for a minimum of twenty essay judges. Each judge will work independently, scoring their essays and reporting the scores by internet on the National Future City website.
Volunteer as a Presentation Aide or Judge - Finally, on Saturday, January 18, 2014, the final competition will be held at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Based on past experience and based on constraints at our venue, we anticipate that we will need more than 120 volunteers to fill the following positions:
Add Your Name to Our Volunteers List - This coming year's Future City Competition will need the help of almost 250 volunteers, and we welcome the help of anyone who is interested in volunteering their time. To qualify as an Engineer Mentor, you must be an engineer and have attended a Teacher/Mentor Orientation Meeting. Engineering students from local universities will be permitted to serve as a co-mentor. To qualify as a Presentation Judge, you must have attended one of the Presentation Aides’ and Judges’ Orientation Meetings or judged presentations in one or more previous competitions. Engineers are preferred but not required. So if you are interested in registering as a volunteer for the 2014 Future City Competition, or to get more information and decide later, please use the link below.
Link to "Ways to Get Involved"