Perry Outreach Program2015-16 FIRST LEGO League season begins!

FIRST LEGO League teams across Kansas City (and the world!) are not only talking trash, they're learning how to clean it up with this year's TRASH TREK challenge. They've been building and programming their robots, creating trash-themed LEGO models and working to complete their missions on their TRASH TREK playing fields. Now they're putting their work to the test during FLL Qualifying Tournaments, which began Nov. 14 and lead up to the championship on Jan.16, 2016, at Union Station. The tournaments are FREE and open to the public at noon. See the schedule.

Volunteering at FLL qualifier

We need YOU! Volunteer with KC FIRST

Find out how you can make a difference to hundreds of Kansas City-area students by volunteering to help during KC FIRST's tournament season. Not an engineer? Never worked with robots? Not a problem. Folks from all walks of life pitch in to run tournaments, and more than 90 percent say they would recommend it. Find out how you, a group you belong to or your company can get involved by contacting our volunteer coordinator today at

$60,000 in grants awarded to 36 teams

As the regional representative for US FIRST, KC STEM Alliance's KC FIRST staff not only organize official tournaments but also coordinate coaching workshops and other activities. Thanks to the generous donations of our partner companies, KC STEM Alliance also awards targeted grants to make the program available to more students, particularly in underserved communities. This month a panel of staff and funders awarded $60,000 in grants to 36 FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge teams from more than 13 school districts across the metro. Requests were up 40 percent from 2014. Learn more about KC FIRST here.
A working group of representatives from arts groups, STEM organizations and civic leaders convened in late October to discuss what STEAM means in greater Kansas City. KC STEM Alliance worked with Kansas City Young Audiences on a pilot program that paired artists with teachers to find creative ways to engage students in STEM learning. See the highlights on this video by KCPT. (CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH)

#GirlsinTechKC initiative launches December 7

The Hour of Code is coming, and along with it comes a new effort to engage more Kansas City girls with technology. Although women earn 57 percent of bachelor's degrees overall, they earn just 12 percent of computer science degrees in the United States.

During a kickoff celebration on Dec. 7, KC STEM Alliance will roll out new tools to help parents, teachers, mentors and students spread the word about opportunities for girls in tech. The Girls in Tech initiative is supported by Women's Foundation, Cerner and numerous in-kind partners and non-profits. To participate in the kickoff, please RSVP no later than Monday, Nov. 30.

Hour of Code, Powered by Girls
The Girls in Tech initiative launches in conjunction with the Hour of Code movement. Designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket-science, the Hour of Code uses fun themes to show that anybody can learn the basics.

Throughout Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13, 2015), KC STEM Alliance and its partners will conduct six all-girl Hour of Code events, and introduce participants to mentors who can encourage them to continue exploration of the tech world.

Stay tuned for more information about this initiative throughout 2016.

ecosySTEM KC goes to the White House 

Last week, KC STEM Alliance staff and partners joined leaders from 27 local and regional networks for STEM learning to exchange strategies for building all students’ STEM knowledge and expertise through multi-sector “ecosystems” that bring together schools, out of school programs, businesses, institutions of higher education and STEM-rich institutions such as museums.

The education, business and community leaders who participated also met with White House officials to discuss equitable STEM education and federal STEM policy. 

The Kansas City team included, from left, Dr. Cynthia Lane, Superintendent of Kansas City Kansas Public Schools; Laura Loyacono, Executive Director of KC STEM Alliance; Martha McCabe, Manager of STEM Initiatives of KC STEM Alliance; Karen Daniel, Executive Director, CFO of Black & Veatch and Vice Chair of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; LeAnn Smith, Executive Director of Science Pioneers; and  Cindi Jolly, ecosySTEM KC Technical Assistance Lead with the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM.

KC STEM Alliance is participating in the Million Women Mentors movement, with a goal of registering at least 7,000 women mentors in Missouri and Kansas.

If you're already working to introduce young women to STEM fields, make sure your work gets counted! Please sign up online and also consider adding your profile to, a collection of women from a broad range of professions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 



KC STEM Alliance has a new home at 4825 Troost, in the same building as the KC Engineering Zone. Please update your contact information:

KC STEM Alliance
c/o University of Missouri-Kansas City
4825 Troost Ave., Suite 108
Kansas City, MO 64110
Phone: 816.235.1509


Who will win the Battle of the Brains?

Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains, which gives students in the greater Kansas City area the chance to earn $155,000 in grants by designing the next great exhibit for Science City, will announce the winners of this round on this Wednesday, Nov. 18.
The Battle of the Brains is an academic competition, but it’s really a platform to change the way kids see STEM. Over three rounds, thousands of area students have explored their interests through the Battle of the Brains. Follow the competition results at #BOTBKC!

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