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STEM education in action

Need inspiration after a long couple of years? Take time this month and next to check in as metro students share their problem-solving prowess in showcases and competitions. Students gain communication skills when they practice telling you about what they've learned and you'll walk away amazed at the emerging talent in our region!

First up: This Friday and Saturday (March 18-19) high school students return to in-person FIRST Robotics Competition game play during the Heartland Regional at Olathe South High School. The action continues March 25-26 with the Greater KC Regional at Lee's Summit North High School and the Central Missouri Regional April 2-3 at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia. If you've never seen FIRST Robotics in action, you're in for a thrill! Join a student-led tour to see what it takes to be competition-ready.

Science Fair

The Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair begins March 23. Although the fair is going virtual one more year, you can check out the project and portfolios online. And if you take part in the Scavenger Hunt, you might even win a prize!

Invention Convention

During the Kansas City Invention Convention students develop their ideas into real inventions with guidance from mentors along the way. Stop by the showcase and awards show on April 23 at UMKC's Swinney Center to see their results and find out who wins cash prizes and the chance to represent KC on the national level.

Senior Showcase

On April 26, you'll see creative solutions in engineering and biomedical science as students share their capstone projects with the community during the Project Lead The Way Senior Showcase at Union Station. Finalists will be revealed for competitions including the Innovator Awards for those projects with true market potential (and a great pitch) and online Engineering Design and Biomedical Research Design.

Poster Symposium

The Johnson County Community College STEM Poster Symposium on April 28 in the Regnier Center showcases original research and projects by JCCC STEM students in a conference-style setting. At least 100 students studying Engineering, Technology, Science and Math are expected. 

5 STEM experiences to share now

Outdoor Learning

Green Works in Kansas City's Spring ECOS Session begins March 26. Designed for 4th-8th graders, the weekly program includes hikes, bird watching, identification of native trees and plants, nature art projects and more from two locations—the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center and Lakeside Nature Center.

Space Exploration

Dr. Linda Godwin shares her own spaceflight experiences and discusses the evolving role of commercial and private space flight in low Earth orbit (and possibly beyond) during an in-person talk co-sponsored by Linda Hall Library and William-Jewell College on March 31.

Baseball + Math

Mathapalooza marks 10 years of making math fun! On March 31 and April 7, students can celebrate with some baseball-inspired math games at the Royals MLB Urban Youth Academy

Science Ethics

Catch a movie and conversation with STEM experts at the KU Edwards Campus during the April 8 SciFlix, this time featuring "Revenge of the Electric Car."

Climate Action

Local, regional and international leaders will gather on April 9 to discuss progress, challenges and strategies during the 2022 KC Climate Action Summit. The day’s events start at 10 a.m. with interactive exhibits at the free indoor and outdoor Climate Action Expo, including music, tours and demonstrations. Students can attend the summit for a special rate.

Spark a life-long love of learning


Creating your own board game. Learning to use a green screen. Building an indoor fort and staging your own puppet show. Trying your hand at drone flying. Finding out what's in the water at Parkwood Park. Discovering patterns in nature.  

Remake Learning Days Across America celebrates hands-on, experiential learning experiences like these and we can't wait for Kansas City families to take part in what's dubbed the nation's largest open house of hands-on learning. Kansas City celebrates May 6-16, with some signature events like the Liberty Invitational the week before. 

Can your organization help add to our list of learning experiences for families? Experiences can be big or small, in person or online and extend beyond STEM to include Arts and Youth Voice. Mini grants of $250 are available to nonprofit hosts. Find out what's involved and sign up ASAP!

NSBE Jr. Community STEM Day

aSTEAM Village hosts a Community STEM Day on Thursday, May 5, at the Royals Urban Youth Academy with Janeen Uzzell, CEO of the National Society of Black Engineers, as a special guest. Sign up here to provide an interactive STEAM experience. Contact directly to bring students to the event.


Girls in STEM Spotlight: Panther Robotics

L-R Annabelle Shaw, Eva Avila, Andrea Gaus, Dannica Jackowski, Lily Avila, Heather Hudson, Jill Gayley, Mary Ure, Aubrey Huber.

Women on Paola High School's Panther Robotics team have a simple goal: To bring more girls into the fold. Their Girls in STEM Club, sponsored by the team and coach Mary Ure, fits in naturally with Team 1108's long track record of community outreach and support. During Covid, the team built hands-free sanitizing stations for elementary schools, used 3-D printers to make a total of 686 face shields, and donated safety glasses to those in need.

Team 1108's young women say their favorite part of Panther Robotics is doing this type of hands-on work in an inclusive and welcoming environment. They create the same kind of environment for the Girls STEM Club. In a recent club meeting, participants entered a SWE-Next contest, using their artistic skills to depict historic women in STEM solving modern-day problems.

Be on the lookout for these women in STEM at the Central Regional FIRST Robotics Competition next month in Sedalia!

Closing the Gender Gap 

It's Women's History Month—a good time to review what we learned through the Closing the Gender Gap in K-12 project based on a series of conversations with women and girls across age ranges and STEM professions. Watch or listen to the conversation, read the full report and access ideas by age group here.

STEM Goes Red Scholarship

The Kansas City STEM Goes Red Scholarship will award three scholarships of $2,500 each to qualifying applicants. As part of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement, the scholarship is designed to help students interested in pursuing STEM careers achieve their goals. Young women attending high school in the five-county metro region may apply through May 1.


Local PLTW alums shine at Mizzou

Photo: Allyson Imhoff

Mizzou freshmen Sam O'Neill and Kobe Messick will pitch their idea for Supersole, a business that makes 3D printed custom shoe insoles, during the final round of the university's Entrepreneur Quest competition on March 22. Supersole is a continuation of the capstone project the students developed last year during their PLTW Engineering Design & Development course at Van Horn High School in the Independence School District, taught by Brian Gant. Read on to see how the duo's own experiences informed their approach.

Heading to Worlds

The Cobalt Colts, a FIRST Tech Challenge team from Overland Park, will head to the FIRST World Championships in April after competing on the winning alliance at the Missouri/Kansas State Championships in Rolla on March 5.

Giving Back

Inspired by students he met during the PLTW Senior Showcase, TREKK Design Group's Jared Carey has designated a $1,000 charitable contribution to the KC STEM Alliance. Carey received the opportunity to direct the gift when he was honored with TREKK's Damien Simpson IMPROVING LIVES Award. The award goes to a full-time TREKK employee who demonstrates a continuing effort of IMPROVING LIVES through kindness, encouragement, professionalism and dependability.
 "For this year’s Improving Lives charity award, I choose the KC STEM Alliance," Jared said. "We are not the only generations with great ideas. We can improve lives through great innovations, and investing in the brilliant minds of future generations is a powerful way to ensure this continued legacy. "

Strengthening STEM Ecosystems

Legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) called the Strengthening STEM Ecosystems Act would establish a grant program within the National Science Foundation to provide funding to STEM Ecosystems and their partners to better connect communities, share knowledge and create pathways for students to enter STEM careers. 

The KC STEM Alliance is supporting the effort by sharing stories about how work within the STEM Connect-KC learning ecosystem is preparing students for the future.

Missouri STEM Day at the Capitol

Partners from across the state gathered at the Missouri State Capitol on March 3 to showcase the value of STEM education. Above, KC STEM Alliance's Christina Chandler with the team from Honeywell. 

We Code KC seeks community support

See why this tech program for urban teens is in danger of losing its home in this Startland News report.

Join the STEM Connect-KC Network

Is your organization listed in STEM Connect-KC? This is the place to find others working in or supporting STEM (and STEAM!) education in the Kansas City region, plus events, competitions, scholarships, educator professional development and more.

Joining the directory ensures you receive invitations for meetings and events happening in the STEM learning community. The Events Calendar is free and open to all to promote STEM events and activities, scholarships, summer camps and more.

Learn more Add your organization Update your profile | Post event

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KC STEM Alliance · 4825 Troost Ave. · Kansas City, MO 64110 · USA