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Future City 2012 eNews: 12/15/11

Future City 2012 eNews: 12/15/11

I hope this eNews finds you all healthy and happy. I know it finds you ready for a break.


The information in this eNews includes:

1.  Submitting your Essays and Narratives (repeated from the previous email)

2.  Submitting your SimCity (with link repeated)
3.  Presentation Tips

4.  An Overview of January 2012

5. Venue Changes for 2012


1. Submitting your Essays and Narratives (repeated from the original email)

The deadline for initial submission for both the Research Essay and City Narrative is FridayDecember 16, 2011. You will actually be submitting 4 items that day:

          1. The Research Essay

          2. The City Narrative

          3. The Research Essay Form

          4. The City Narrative Form.

(The last two forms can be found in your handbooks or on the national site. They do need to be submitted but are not subject to deadline point deductions.)


You may submit all of these documents via email directly to me dramsey@spsu.edu but be sure to follow the naming convention described below so that we can easily track your documents through the system.

1. Send both essays as Word documents. Do not send PDF files.

3. For the Research Essay please adhere to the following naming convention:

                    FC2012 RE Your city Name Your School Name.doc

                    For example, if I were submitting a Research essay I would name the document: FC2012 RE Dawn City SPSU.doc

                   You may abbreviate your school name as I did or spell it out.

4. For the City Narrative please adhere to the following naming convention:

                    FC2012 CN Your City Name Your School Name.doc

                    For example, if I were submitting a City Narrative I would name the document: FC2012 CN Dawn City SPSU.doc

5. In the Subject of your email to me please mark it FC 2012 RE for your Research Essay and FC 2012 CN for your City Narrative.

6. Email these files to me at dramsey@spsu.edu

If you prefer to send the documents through the mail on a CD, you may do so. Be sure to send in protective envelops. Mail to: Dawn Ramsey, 2012 FC, SPSU, 1100 So. Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060


2. Submitting your SimCity (with link repeated)

If you still need to submit your SimCity files please go to http://luna.spsu.edu/asc/upload/savingyourcity.html where you will find detailed instructions on submission.

3. Presentation Tips (taken from national newsletter)

10 Ways to Make Your Presentation Great

1. Look Them in the Eye

  • Give your judges direct eye contact; scan their faces. This shows confidence and an interest in the judges. There is no reason to be afraid of them. You can even go up to them and greet them and shake their hands!
  • Draw judges to your presentation with a gimmick like a brochure, bracelet, or special food.

2. Say it clearly

  • Enunciate your words; in other words don’t mumble or roll words together. Clear talking is easy to understand and makes you sound intelligent. Mumbled or slurred words make you seem uncertain and are hard to hear.
  • Keep your energy up, use varied inflection, and speak loudly and clearly.

3. Talk TO them; not AT them

  • Think of your presentation as a conversation. Instead of memorizing it word for word, write an outline of notes and practice saying it. Pretend you are telling a friend or adult you know about your city.

4. Organize Your Presentation

  • Keep organized and follow a format or order when you speak that is more than just a list of things in your model. Group ideas together with common themes/topics judges are looking for like education in your city, transportation in your city, industry in your city, etc.
  • Highlight what you will talk about BEFORE you talk about it and then provide a simple SUMMARY after you talk about it…they will remember all that good information!
  • Use a jazzy introduction…Make sure it has pizzazz and sparkles.
  • Tie the Intro and the Closing together.  This makes for a nice “full circle.”
  • Use the narrative as the foundation of your presentation.

5. Stand next to your model and visual aid

  • Stand next to your model and visual aid, point to it and face the judges as you speak. Think of a weather forecaster on TV. By standing behind something you are putting up a barrier between you and the judges.
  • Visuals should explain a process or something difficult to understand.  Make it BIG.

6. Expect a Mistake; Don’t Lose Your Cool

  • No one is perfect; most people make mistakes when they speak. It’s not the mistake that is important but how you respond. Don’t fall apart, get upset, or ask to start over. Don’t draw attention to a mistake. Just keep going and do the best you can. If you are asked a question that stumps you then either look to your team members to answer, admit you aren’t sure or do the best you can in answering with a reasonable guess. Don’t let it throw you off balance. Most nervousness happens when someone expects to be perfect and falls apart at one little mistake.

7. Give Sources for your Information

  • Increase how the judges rate how knowledgeable your team is by explaining a point clearly and providing the resource of where you found some of your information. Tell your judges the name, date, and author of a book or the name, date of a magazine where you may have learned about plastics, for example, if it fits in with a part of your presentation.

8. Share the Stage

  • The judges will be looking at how well your team cooperates. Step in when it will help the team, but let the other team members talk also. Just keep thinking…TEAM, TEAM, TEAM!
  • Look at the team member who is speaking.
  • For a team of three:

            One member verbally explains a concept.

            One member points to the model that shows where it is located.

            One member points to the visual that shows the concept (process).

9. Review the Team Presentation Rubric in the Handbook and at www.futurecity.org

  • The Team Presentation Rubric tells you exactly what the judges will be looking for so check it out and make sure you can rate yourself well.

10. Practice Out Loud

  • Practice your presentation from the beginning to the end as you stand near your model and visual aid. Practice as if you made it into the finals. Have someone listen to your presentation and rate you the way the judges will evaluate you. Have you ever heard the old saying, “Practice Makes Perfect”? It is true!

Most importantly….have a good time and let the judges see your excitement and enthusiasm for your city. If YOU think it is great, they will too!  Good Luck!


4. An Overview of January 2012

When we get back from break we have 3 short weeks to get ready for the Future City Competition. During that time you should be building your models and planning your presentations. At SPSU we will be printing name tags, city signs, certificates, ordering plaques, preparing materials, etc. In the January 3 eNews I will attach a Team Information Form for you to complete on each of your teams and get back to me (no later than January 11 - a real hard deadline to meet program book publication dates). That is the inforamtion we need to prepare certificates, name tags, and to publish the program book. That form will ask for the names of each of the students on your teams (the 3 with one alternate) that will represent the team on January 21. 


Below is a list of important January dates:

January 3      Final eNews sent 

January 6      Final date to submit Sim City, Narratives and Essay to count points in competition 

January 11    Deadline for Team Information Forms

January 13    Competion Details Packet sent (this will include a preliminary round schedule and event details you should share with parents)  

January 21    Competition Day


5. Venue Changes for 2012

A heads-up, the 2012 competition will be held on the SPSU campus but we will be changing venues. So things will be different even for experienced schools. Look for more details in the January 3 eNews and in the Competition Details Packet.


Have a wonderful Christmas break! I will be available via email and cell throughout the break if you need me. The next eNews will be distributed on January 3.