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Career explorations + student competitions

Explore career paths with Garmin // Thursday, 10/21

Some career paths can’t be mapped in a straight line. Garmin invites high school students to learn about varying pathways to electronic and engineering tech, product support, manufacturing, customer repair and circuit board design during a free virtual event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21.

Register here >



How Do I Become an Engineer? // Friday, 10/22

Learn what it takes to build a career in engineering during a virtual session at 2 p.m. Friday. Organized by Linda Hall Library and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Computing & Engineering, the session will offer insights and give students a chance to ask questions. Parents, teachers, and mentors also are welcome.

Register here >

Ignite your problem-solving powers!

Kansas City is home to multiple STEM competitions for students to put their ingenuity and problem-solving skills to the test while getting real world feedback and a chance to win recognition and scholarships. Registration is open now for the longest-running and the newest on the scene!

GKC Science & Engineering Fair Kick Off // Saturday, 10/23

The 71st annual Greater KC Science & Engineering Fair is set for March 23-26, 2022, and the season begins with an optional information session from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 23. Explore ways to help students choose a topic of interest, identify a question to investigate, create a research plan and get connected with STEM professionals in our community!

Register here >

The Kansas City Invention Convention

At the Linda Hall Library’s Kansas City Invention Convention, students in grades 4-12 from around the Kansas City metro are empowered to imagine new solutions to everyday challenges. With the support of teachers and mentors, students are introduced to STEM + Invention + Entrepreneurship concepts as they create their own inventions and compete for a chance to win prizes, scholarships and an opportunity to compete in the national and global competitions. Registration is open now through March 26, with the showcase and awards ceremony set for April 23.

Learn more >

Rethink Ed Conference // Wednesday, 10/20

THIS WEEK! Join organizations from across Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, and the greater Rethink ED community on a virtual journey to elevate conversations around policy, equity and student voices. Don’t miss this opportunity to have future-forward, education-focused conversations with key players and thought leaders in the Midwest.

Register here >

Help shape Remake Learning Days KC 2022

You can be a part of making this festival of hands-on learning bigger, better and more inclusive as Kansas City takes part in Remake Learning Days Across America for the second year in May 2022. On Wednesday, Oct. 27, we will recap ideas captured during a planning kick off earlier this month and prepare for ongoing work groups around access and creative programming.

Click here to receive the calendar invite and Zoom link >


Students illustrate growing diversity in STEM

Thanks to a creative educational opportunity, the KC STEM Alliance is now home to a new mural that centers Black and Brown students in STEM. The banner will greet visitors to the KC STEM Alliance’s space at 4825 Troost in Kansas City and is the result of a Real World Learning opportunity developed by the South Education Collaborative, PREP-KC and Avila University.

The KC STEM Alliance served as the client for teams of students from Center, Grandview and Ruskin high schools who were enrolled in a Pathways to Design course taught by Eric Winter, previously with Avila University and now with Johnson County Community College. Two additional designs created by the students will be installed inside in the STEM Alliance’s community space. Stay tuned for details for a formal dedication in early November. 


PLTW National Awards include 3 KC-area educators

Congratulations to three educators in our region who recently received top honors from Project Lead The Way for their work in finding innovative ways to engage students and their families. The PLTW National Awards included:
  • PLTW Launch National Teacher of the Year: Christine Davenport, West Platte Elementary School, West Platte School District, Weston, Mo.
  • Outstanding Teacher: Cammy Neth, Lewis & Clark Elementary, Liberty Public Schools, Liberty, Mo.
  • Outstanding Administrator: Ericka Mabion, Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City, Mo.

See the PLTW National Awards Yearbook >

SWE honors McCabe with international award

Congratulations to KC STEM Alliance Executive Director Martha McCabe, who will be honored Oct. 21 with the Advocating Women in Engineering Award from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

One of just five recipients across the globe, McCabe was honored for professional excellence in her field and her advocacy of women in engineering. McCabe has worked closely with SWE-KC on awareness-building events like Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, developed the Girls in Tech KC movement, helped establish networking events for girls during FIRST Robotics Competition events and supported the establishment of Mentor Makers. Now entering its fourth year, Mentor Makers matches, trains and supports KC area women professionals in STEM fields with high school girls who are curious about STEM careers.

See the full list of honorees >


Grant opportunities and more


PLTW new program grants

Reminder: Project Lead The Way New Program grants cover teacher training and up to two years of participation fees. To see what's available, visit this link. Filter by the program you're interested in, then choose "New Program" and your applicable state.

Search for opportunities and apply here >

'Every School Can' teach computer science in K-5

Last month the first national summit for K-5 Computer Science Education used the theme "Every School Can." The follow up? The Every School Can Starter Pack of free programs and resources for immediate implementation by any school. No budget, experience, or special resources required. If you already offer computer science in K-5, post your First Movers Recognition Goals to help meet the 1,000 Schools Challenge!  Get your Badge, Certificate, Map pop-up, and leaderboard position by posting just two numbers here.


NCSSS Professional Conference: Nov. 3-6

The National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools will bring together administrators and teachers from across the country to share best practices and learn the latest innovations in STEM education in Kansas City next month.

Session strands include wellness, research, math, computer science, and administration, among others. NCSSS member Blue Valley CAPS will host a tour during the conference. 

Learn more and register here >


FIRST Robotics: 


New location for FIRST Robotics Competition Kick Off

Save the date for the game reveal and kick off for the new FIRST Robotics Competition season and the 2022 game: RAPID REACTOR. Teams will gather at the UMKC Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, for the game reveal. 

Stay tuned for additional details, including the opportunity to tour the new Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center. This five-story, 57,800-square-foot facility has 11 state-of-the-art research labs, including a 3D printing lab and fabrication studio to build prototypes, high-performance computing and analytics equipment and software, an FAA-approved flight simulator, a two-story drone flight-testing bay and $3 million of augmented and virtual reality equipment.


'Ladies FIRST' breaks boundaries at Center Middle School

A new FIRST Tech Challenge team at Center Middle School is making history as the school's first all-girls robotics team. Their name? “Ladies FIRST Engineering and Robotics Club.” Their goals? “Winning” and “Changing the World.”

Coached by STEM teacher Derrick Prewitt and Giorgio Griffin, a former robotics team member, the team hopes to change perceptions about who robotics programs are for.

“Last week I declared war on the gender/racial gap in STEM," Prewitt said. "These young ladies are my soldiers. We have begun the hard work in changing minds, traditions, and old world ways. We are building a better world through STEM.”

Griffin said her own experience as a robotics team member was rewarding, but she's looking forward to giving these students an enhanced experience: “I learned lifelong skills, like how to push through and solve a problem," Griffin said. "But I do wish I had been on an all-girls team like this one. It would have been so empowering.”

Special thanks go out to the team mentors, Aman Malhotra (Super Dispatch) and Angela Oguna Oruoch (Black and Veatch), who are demonstrating that engineering is more than math and sitting at a desk—it’s about solving problems in new and different ways.

Team members include Maria Flores, Amirr Jones, Joslyn Jones, Elda Mekonen, Sushi Xiong, Seela Hyacinthe, Payton Sohayda, Cailyn Bridge, Emma Horton, Lily Wheeler and Vanessa Lewis.

Stay up to date on all things FIRST at >

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