1. Competition Manuals and Forms
  2. Letter to Parents
  3. Orientation Workshop Materials
  4. Mentor Information
  5. Lessons Learned
  6. List of Penalties
  7. Where to Learn More
    about Essay Research, City Planning, Model Building, Engineering and more.


Competition Forms

Electronic copies of FC Handbook and Forms (2023): See Educator's Dashboard

Letter to Parents

Letter for teachers to print and send to parents of student competitors explaining the FC program and timeline (Sep-2023).

Orientation Workshops

NTX Regional Webinars

All sessions recorded on our FCC NTX YouTube Channel

National Webinars and Video Tutorials

  • Essay: Electrify Your Future - 4 October webinar - Register here.
  • Model Tutorial video
  • Model Moving Parts video
  • City Presentation Tutorial video
  • 2019 New Educator Webinar video
  • 2019 Educator Best Practices and Advice video

Mentor Information

How to Find a Mentor for Your Team

We recommend that schools and teams find their own mentors. Suggestions on where you might look to find a volunteer. If you are not successful, contact the Regional Coordinator for help.

If they are agreeable, mentors may work with more than one team.

Alternatively, 2-3 volunteers may team-up together to mentor the student team(s) (in other words, a "mentor" doesn't have to be one person, although one mentor must be named as the official team member).

Resources for Mentors

Hints and suggestions from some of our most experienced mentors.

Lessons Learned

  1. This project takes time, so plan accordingly.
    • Educators: 30-40 hours
    • Mentors: 20-40 hours
    • Students:
      • Design city: 18-20 hours
      • Build model: 40-60 hours
      • Essay: 8 hours
      • Presentation: 7 hours
  2. Don't wait to start working and model! Start collecting recyclable building materials early. And, begin working on the model before you finish the essay.
  3. Penalty points for late work won't kill your chances. For example, if you need a couple more days to complete your essay, you might want to consider turning your work in late and accepting the penalty points. See below.
  4. Keep parents informed. Make sure parents of the student competitors know about the competition requirements and schedule. Send the letter to parents or your own form home with the students.
  5. If you are working on the project as a class, you must select the three students who will represent you at the competition (for the presentation). Consider holding tryouts and/or letting the students vote on who to select.
  6. Educators and mentors act as advisors. The students are the designers (no matter how wrong their decisions appear to be).
  7. Consider bringing in topic area experts (for example: materials specialists or urban designers) to give a brief presentation.
  8. Models can be fragile and easily damaged during transit or setup. Have a small repair kit ready (glue, tape, screwdriver, staplers, etc.) in case emergency repairs are necessary.
  9. Read the Handbook and Rules for North Texas Competition.

List of Penalties

  • Late or missing work. See Schedule for specific dates.
    • City Essay and Project Plan deliverables after due date - Minus 5 points
    • Note: Missing work does not disqualify a team.
  • Incomplete or missing Honor Statement - Minus 5 points
  • Essay
    • Exceeding the maximum word limit on the City Essay - Minus 5-10 points
    • Plagiarism of any part or all of the City Essay - 0 points earned for the deliverable
  • Model
    • Exceeding the max dimensions for the model in any direction - Minus 5-15 points
    • Uses prohibited part or pieces from past model - Minus 5-15 points
    • Reuses significant pieces of past model(s) without redesign/reconfiguration. - Minus 5-15 points
    • Model ID - Missing all or part - Minus 2 points
  • Presentation
    • Exceeding the max dimensions for presentation and demonstration materials - Minus 5 points
    • Exceeding presentation time limit - Minus 5 points
    • Anyone other than 3 official student team members participating in presentation - Minus 15 points
    • Not following instructions of Room Monitor or Judge Panel - Minus 5-15 points
  • Presentation, Q&A
    • Anyone other than 3 official student team members participating in presentation - Minus 15 points
    • Not following instructions of Room Monitor or Judge Panel - Minus 5-15 points
  • Special Awards - Anyone other than the three designated student team members participating - Minus 10 points
  • Over budget or undocumented expenses - Model and presentation costs exceeding $100 or missing Expense Form - Minus 20 points
    • Incomplete expense form - missing receipts, not accounting for all major items, missing teacher or mentor signature - Minus 5 points
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct by team members or guests (includes rude behavior to judges, competitors, or disruption of another team's judging session) - Minus 20 points or disqualification
  • Destruction of another team's model or presentation materials - Disqualification

Where to Learn More

  • City Design and Planning
  • Project Planning
  • Essay Resources
  • Models
  • Presentations
  • Engineering