Future City - Project Based Learning Activity

Woodside students discuss their Future City Project
with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at the State Capitol

Information on Future City 2009-2010

Themed Providing An Affordable Living Space For People Who Have Lost Their Home Due to a Disaster or Financial Emergency

Engage your students as they incorporate SIM CITY 4 DELUXE to learn more about city planning and future topics in this popular activity. Students will also build a physical model city using recycled materials to scale, matching the city they designed in SIM CITY. The Future City theme for 2009-2010 is based on designing affordable housing for those in need. While providing housing, students must emphasize LEED recognized green building standards, energy efficiency, and a low carbon footprint. Now in its second decade, the National Engineers Week Future City Competition is a STEM program developed for seventh and eighth grade middle school students to help them discover and foster interests in math, science and engineering. Choose to participate and you and your students will discover it's a program that's both challenging and stimulating.

I have worked with teachers at my middle school in an effort to integrate the program so that it occurs during the curricular school day and involves all 350 eighth grade students. Core curricula are aligned with state standards in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Furthermore, the project is also aligned with Twenty-first Century skills and NETS-S standards.

Link to the National Future City Site:

Download the 2009 - 2010 Future City Brochure

The following content will assist students in learning about the 2009-2010 topic


Website calculators useful in research regarding green topics.

Global Footprint Calculator- How much land area does it take to support your lifestyle? Take this quiz to find out your Ecological Footprint, discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what you can do to tread more lightly on the earth.
Fluorescent Light Calculator - This calculator lets you see how much you could save - dollars and energy - by using high-efficiency fluorescent lights instead of the old standard incandescent bulbs. Or, if you already use the fluorescent, you can find out how much you are already saving.
General Electric Energy Cost Calculator - This calculator requires the use of **Javascript** enabled and capable browsers. This is designed to give an idea of the costs of various daily things we do in our homes that are electrical in nature.
Ohm's Law Equations Formulas Calculator - Power Given Voltage Current - Use this calulator to determine electrical relationships between resistance (R), current (I), power (P) and voltage (E) as defined by Ohm's Law. One ohm is defined as the resistance which allow the current of one ampere under a potential difference of 1 volt.
Carbon Footprint Calculator - Use The Nature Conservancy's carbon footprint calculator to measure your impact on our climate. Our carbon footprint calculator estimates how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your choices create each year.
How Much Electricity Does My Stuff Use - Figure out how much electricity one item may use.


Websites useful in research regarding green topics.

Cardboard Housing - Learn how people in third world countries are learning how buildings can be made of paper and cardboard. This article also contains a great link to an interesting and cost effective cardboard housing development that has been built.
What to do with a Cardboard Carton - Great facts and statistics on cardboard and recycling.
Cardboard Homes Could Solve Africa's Housing Woes - Read how a German Company may have a housing solution.
In Search of Earth Day : Amazing Recycled Architect - Take a look at 15 examples of neat recycl ingideas for housing.
Home in a Green Shipping Container - Shipping container as green and affordable housing units? Find out how green building just got easier.
Recycled Containers Transformed into Trendy Homes- Another article describing containers as new recycled architecture.
Affordable Container Housing - A look at the state of Hawaii and a company incorporating containers.
Thirty Different Ways to Put a Roof Over Your Head - Lots of ideas for housing including a Yurts and Folding Bamboo Homes.
11 Facts About Energy - More statistics on electrical usage.
Indiana Map - Great site for schools in Indiana to study maps and GIS applications


Videos useful in research regarding green topics.

Please note that videos are linked to youtube. The link after each video entitled SafeshareTV is a second link to a sight without the youtube comments, ads, and forums. It also may be a site that is open to your school district servers. That is the reason the SafeshareTV link is also provided.

Glendales Home Green Home LEED Habitat for Humanity House - A Healthy Green Home SafeshareTV - Defines LEED, its different levels, and what it takes to be LEED compliant.
FLIR thermal infrared imaging home inspection, energy camera SafeshareTV - New camera that spots hot and cold in order to adhere to LEED standards.
Build an Energy Efficient Home with Thermal Imaging SafeshareTV - Great look at detecting the thermal envelope of a building with an infrared camera.
EPTV ECO PARK Projects - Barry Leneman's Emergency Shelter SafeshareTV - View emergency structures that can be built anywhere in the world and incorporates environmental issues important for emergency housing.
EcoShell Construction SafeshareTV - Emergency Shelters - Emergency housing that are earthquake proof and can be constructed onsite with unskilled labor in a short period of time by local labor using local resources.
Contain Your Enthusiasm-Housing the Homeless Worldwide SafeshareTV- Short video describing containers for homeless and relief structures.
Container City - Inside Out SafeshareTV - Containers used for inexpensive and eco-friendly housing in England
Container City - London SafeshareTV - Another great look with even more information about a city built in under 5 months in London.
Earthship Design Principles SafeshareTV - Great video showing many principles needed to create an off-the-grid home.
Recycled Houses SafeshareTV - A great video from the state of Texas about a man on a mission to supply affordable homes to all people using 85% recycled material.
Engineering GIS In LEED For Neighborhood Development SafeshareTV - Great video showing how GIS is used to determine new LEED building project


Activities useful in research regarding green topics.

Discovering Engineering - A great site with lots of information and activities. A suggested activity and video in this site is called The Amazing Solar Decathlon. It can be found by clicking on Video Activities when you enter the site. From there click on The Amazing Solar Decathlon. Then view both the video and the activity sheet. It would be great to try the Solar Pizza Box Oven.

Beat the Heatt - Design a home courtesy of the Arizona Science Center with consideration of the home's features integrating with the physical environment. You will have your choice of season, along with a location of Arizona, the North Pole, or the Equator.

Fort Wayne GIS - Note: this was designed for people in the Fort Wayne area and integrates with SIM CITY. Use this site and online worksheet to discover the city of Fort Wayne using both GIS and the provided worksheet. (You may want to find a similar site and develop for your own area). Use this activity so students can learn about zoning, city planning, and its application with GIS. The concepts integrate with lessons students will use in SIM CITY 4 DELUXE and provide a relevance to their home and community. The Fort Wayne activity sheet used with this GIS site is provided on the link below.

Using Google Maps and Google Earth - Excellent activity created by Laura Smith and Sarah Kniss who are both science teachers at Woodside Middle School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This activity introduces students to their school and hometown using both Google Maps and Google Earth. It also expands on definitions that will be used in the Future City Program and facilitates student investigation of city growth using well known world wide locations and historic layers found in Google Earth. This document has been written to be used at any school. Feel free to download using the link below.

Learning About LEED - Great video explaining LEED and giving various examples from KQED TV (PBS) in northern California. I have supplied an accompanying worksheet that can be used when watching. I suggest letting students watch on individual computers, starting and stopping video when needed. I have also provided a Green Building Revolution Quiz that can be taken after watching the video using the notes. I am not providing answers for obvious reasons but I will supply a key upon request. I have also supplied this quiz to Discovery Education and it can be found by searching its database. It can then be taken online for schools that subscribe to Discovery Education. You do not have to subscribe to Discovery to watch video or use my worksheets or quiz. Let me know how it goes.

Standards and Other Information

This shows alignment with state and district standards in language arts, social studies, math, and science along with 21st Century skills and ISTE's NETS-S standards.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Article highlighting Woodside's Future City Efforts