Using SimCity to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects in classrooms in my opinion is an interesting thought but how does it work in reality?
Browsing the SimCity Edu site (http://www.simcityedu.org/) it appears to still be in the beginning (beta) phase. Teachers can make their own lesson plans and upload to the site and share with other teachers. Right now I would say there is a disappointing amount of lesson plans on the site, 9 from what I can see (but I don’t have a login), I am going to hope a lot of the lesson plans are private. I should note here, a special version of SimCity (Glasslab) for teachers won’t be released till Fall 2013, I can imagine it is a big expense to buy 20-30 versions of SimCity for a classroom and not every school wants to spend that.
I do think SimCity can really open the eyes of kids (and adults) to show how complicated managing a city is. I personally have a much bigger appreciation to the road builders/designers in Real Life, it is not easy to build a road system that can hold the insane amount of cars we all have. Then there are all the services we need and have easy access to: police, garbage pickups, hospitals, firestation.
Master Planner Contest
I had not seen this contest before but teachers can win a trip to San Francisco to sit down with Maxis, to discuss the upcoming GlassLab version of SimCity. I have flown to San Francisco for a Sims Community Day and trust me, you WANT this. It is amazing. Also, getting 20 licenses for your class is a good prize as I said earlier getting all those licenses might be hard for a school to afford.
Contest runs till the 19th so you still have time. There is no requirement as far as I can see that says you have to be a teacher to make lesson plans.