Perry Outreach ProgramArea high school girls get hands on
during Perry Outreach Program

More than 40 Kansas City-area high school girls got hands on with sawing, drilling and stitching to learn how engineering and orthopedic surgery relate during a Perry Outreach Program on Oct. 3 at MCC Penn Valley Health Science Institute.

The one-day traveling workshop introduced girls to opportunities in orthopedics and engineering through six hands-on “mock surgical” exercises and the chance to work with local surgeons from Children’s Mercy Hospital. According to the Perry Initiative, women are still under-represented in certain medical fields as well as in engineering. The KC STEM Alliance has brought the workshop to Kansas City each year since 2012.
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KC STEM Alliance in Action

A few highlights of KC STEM Alliance happenings in September and October:
  • Brought together hundreds of students for a Project Lead the Way Capstone Fall Workshop at Burns & McDonnell.
  • Joined Million Women Mentors in Washington, D.C., for a day of sharing best practices for using mentoring as a tool to advance more women and girls in STEM careers.
  • Explored animal science, biomedical research and orthopedic engineering with Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences teachers during Teacher Mentor Day at The Kansas City Zoo. (Right)
  • Led St. Teresa's Academy faculty and administration through measuring, machining, coding and more for a hands-on STEM professional development day.
  • Co-sponsored a professional development for elementary teachers with Kansas City Young Audiences, focusing on integrating the arts into STEM curriculum.
  • Hosted three workshops for new and veteran FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge coaches.
  • Executive Director Laura Loyacono served on a Women in Technology expert panel at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.


It takes a village to grow a community steeped in STEM opportunities and KC STEM Alliance is pleased to welcome Chloe Brown as a FIRST/AmeriCorps VISTA member for the Kansas City region. Chloe supports FIRST teams by recruiting mentors and providing technical support, particularly for those in underserved communities. Chloe graduated in May of 2015 with degrees in Evolutionary Health Policy and Health Sciences from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.

As we welcome Chloe, we send off Malcolm Strickland, who is joining FIRST headquarters in New Hampshire in a technical support role. Malcolm joined KC STEM Alliance in 2013 through a partnership with VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and FIRST. A 2010 graduate of Lee Summit West High School, Malcolm was a member of FRC Team Titanium. Malcolm is currently a student at Metropolitan Community College-Longview studying computer science.

Callen Fairchild Zind also joins the team this month as a strategic communications consultant. After nearly 14 years as the Director of Marketing & Events at Powell Gardens, Kansas City's botanical garden, Callen looks forward to spreading the word about the many ways Kansas City is building a strong STEM community.

Calling all teachers, counselors, administrators, mentors and other educators who are willing to encourage girls' interest and participation in technology pursuits! 

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors high school women who are interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Application deadline is Monday, October 25. Learn more.


THE STEM Food and Ag Council, a project of STEMconnector, has announced a new initiative to increase the number of people working to feed the planet's growing population through careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The Feed, Nourish, Thrive initiative aims to inspire the next generation of innovators in food and agricultural production. Learn more.