North Texas Regional Rules (2020-2021)

These rules are in addition to or in clarification of the complete list of rules in the Program Handbook.

Teams
  • Teams consist of three 6-8 grade students, one teacher-coach, one mentor (you gotta have one)
    • Students must be from the same school (or organization), but not necessarily from the same class or even the same grade.
  • Organizations may enter as many teams as they like. All teams can participate in the early phases of the program. Due to time constraints, a maximum of 8 full-participation teams per organization may may schedule Q&A sessions with the judges (see competition rules below.)
    • Or, organizations may work in larger groups, class (or classes) and select the three students (one team) that will represent them at the competition.
    • Or, organizations may have multiple teams and hold their own run-off to select the best team to represent them at the regional competition.
SimCity
  • There is no SimCity deliverable requirement this year. However, SimCity remains an excellent means of learning about city design and operation. Codes are available to download and we encourage teams to use the program as a tool to test design ideas.
Deliverables: City Essay, Model Slideshow, and Project Plan
  • The City Essay, Model Slideshow, and Project Plan deliverables are submitted to judging by uploading files to the online Team Center
    • Refer to the NTX Schedule for due dates
    • City Essay should be in a common word processing document format like .doc (not .pdf)
    • The Model slide show should be submitted as a .pdf
      • Download the sample slide show and template
    • Project Plan blank .pdf forms are available online
Forms: Honor Statements, Expense Forms, and Media Waivers
  • The Honor Statement and Expense Forms are also submitted by uploading files to the online Team Center.
  • The Media Waiver must be completed and electronically signed by the parent/guardian of every student team member.
  • Blank forms are available online.
Budget and Expenses
  • Teams have a budget for what they can spend on the model, presentation and Q&A deliverables. Expenses can be no more than $100 per team (combined total for model, presentation, and Q&A)
    • Purchased items - actual receipts stapled to Expense Form
    • Donated or borrowed items - you must place a value on donated or borrowed supplies: fair market value (E-Bay or garage sale price)
    • Used items - fair market value
    • Recyclable items - (e.g., plastic bottles, soda cans, cardboard, etc.) have $0 value
    • 3-D printed items - valued according to rules in handbook
    • Programmable circuit board - valued at full-cost (NLT $35)
  • $100 budget includes all items used in the model, presentation and Q&A: including displays, costumes, and demonstration aids, but not including video recording device and device used for connecting to the virtual meeting with judges (Q&A).
Model and Slideshow
  • New format for 2020-2021: To accommodate both in-person and virtual learning environments, there are two model building options for the 2020-2021 competition. Both options will be submitted via a slideshow format prior to the Regional Competition.
    1. Your team can choose to build one single model (recommended for teams working together in class)
    2. Your team can choose to build multiple model segments. These model segments are separate pieces that represent various sections of the city. Model segments do not need to fit together physically (recommended for those teams working remotely in a distance-learning environment)
  • Scale: Each model segment must be built to scale as determined by the team. But different segments may use different scales as long as the scale is consistent within the segment itself.
  • Moving Part(s): Each model (entire model - not each model segment) must contain one or more moving part(s). Any electrical power must be self-contained (e.g., a household battery and a simple circuit)
  • Model Size: There are no size restrictions on the model or model segments this year.
  • As there is no on-site Regional Competition this year, each team will document their model with a slideshow.
    • Slideshows will conform to the Template (download).
    • Model photos can be of any part of the model (or model segment) that best represents the required element. Be sure that the photos are clear, with sufficient detail for the judges to recognize and score the requirement.
Presentation Video
  • The video recording can be no more than 7 minutes.
  • Presenters: Three students will represent the team in the video presentation (teams of fewer than three students will not be disqualified, but a team cannot have more than three presenting). Adult team members (educators and/or mentors) may help with the filming (i.e., running the camera), but the students will do all of the presenting.
  • Presenting the model: The model or model segments will be the focus of the video presentation. However, other visual aids may be used to help explain some ideas or concepts. These might include posters, graphics, or photographs. No copyrighted materials (such as music, photos, and videos) may be used. Be sure your chosen visual aids - and the model in particular - are clear and legible for the online audience.
  • Budget: If materials other than the model are used during the presentation (such as costumes, posters, or other visual aids), their cost must be included in the total budget (with the model expenses) and reported on the Competition Expense Form.
  • Uploading your Video: Once your video is complete, post it on a publicly available platform that the judges will be able to access (such as YouTube). Upload the video URL to the online Team Center.
Q&A Session with Judges
  • Taking the place of an on-site Regional Competition, NTX will schedule times for the teams to meet with the judges online.
  • The Region will use a TBD online meeting platform for the Q&A (probably Zoom or Google Hangouts).
  • The Q&A period with the judges will last 10 minutes.
  • Three students will represent the team (does not have to be the same three students as the Presentation Video).
    • The three student team members (and only the student team members) will converse with the judges.
    • Educator, mentor, additional students and parents may watch online, but cannot, under any circumstance or in any way, participate in the Q&A discussion.
  • Props and other demonstration aids used during the Q&A must have their cost included in the budget and recorded on the Competition Expense Form.
Regional Competition
  • There is no on-site competition for 2020-21. All of the deliverables will be judged online.
  • Preliminary competition - The preliminary round will be online scoring of all deliverables from all teams. Each entry will be scored by multiple judges (technical professionals) and those scores averaged. Then the average scores for each deliverable will be added together, less any penalties incurred, to come up with a composite-total score for each team.
    • All teams (up to a maximum of 8 full-participation teams per organization without Regional Coordinator approval) may schedule a Q&A session with the judges. (Organizations with multiple Partial participation teams should contact Regional Coordinator for limits on numbers of Q&A participating teams.)
    • The top 4-6 teams will advance to the final round.
      • Only one team per organization may move on to the finals.
  • Final competition - Finalists will schedule a second Q&A with the Finals judges. These judges will re-score the Video Presentation. All other scores (Essay, Model Slideshow, Project Plan) and penalties will carry forward.
  • Special Awards - The judging process for special awards is still under consideration. Plans will be announced by December.
Awards Ceremony and Announcement of Winners
  • Awards ceremony - The NTX Awards Ceremony will take place online following the Final Round of judging. Schedule is TBD.
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams will receive medals and a monetary award for the sponsoring organization.
    • Note: since the Finals Competition, normally held in Washington DC, will also be virtual, there is no trip for the Regional Winner.
  • Companies and professional associations sponsor other special awards, recognizing outstanding effort in special categories. Examples of special awards:
    • Best Essay
    • Team's Choice Best Model
    • Excellence in Civil Engineering
    • Architectural Achievement
    • Excellence in Transportation System Design
    Other Rules
    • Deadlines will not be extended. Teams making submittals after the deadlines will receive penalty points.
    • Any conflicts will be resolved locally. There is no appeal.
    • The judges' decisions are final.
    • Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable.

    Updated Sep-2020