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2022 Remake Learning Days Kick Off
+ STEM Connect-KC Updates

9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan 19

Help light up Kansas City with the joy of learning together in all kinds of spaces and places during Remake Learning Days Across America next spring. Join the official kickoff session for the Kansas City region next week to learn: 
  • How and why to host an event;
  • How to apply for a mini grant to support your work;
  • Who you might collaborate with in new ways;
  • What worked (and what we learned!) from the inaugural KC festival in 2021. 
STEM Connect-KC updates and collaboration opportunities will follow.

See the full details (including our Covid protocols) and register >

Join the STEM Connect-KC Network

Is your organization listed in STEM Connect-KC? This online resource is designed to be a central place to find others working in or supporting STEM (and STEAM!) education in the Kansas City region. 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 >

Support STEM education as a volunteer

If you work in a STEM profession or simply enjoy supporting young people as they learn, volunteer opportunities abound! Among the possibilities:

The KC STEM Alliance produces online competitions to recognize excellence in engineering design or biomedical research in Project Lead The Way students. Volunteers judge three to four projects online using a provided rubric. This typically takes four to five hours and can take place any time during the judging window of April 9-17. Sign up here >

The Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair seeks judges for its 71st annual fair, set for March 23-26 at Union Station. Judging takes place the evening of Wednesday, March 23.
Register here >

The KC Tech Council keeps a running list of volunteer opportunities for tech and STEM pros. Check it out >

Mentors matter in efforts to close STEM gaps

Kansas City Public School middle school students and mentors pose during a recent Girls in STEM event

Closing the gender gap in STEM is a work in progress, but hundreds of local women who work in STEM professions are doing their part to change the equation by mentoring and volunteering at special events just for girls. Since 2016, more than 70 women have stepped up to mentor students in local middle and high schools through a STEM exploration program coordinated by KC STEM Alliance Program Consultant Marian McClellan.

A culminating event in 2019 brought together students and mentors from across the city.

The mentoring events, fine-tuned through a process of continuous improvement, give middle and high school students a chance to get to know women who work in STEM fields by working through exploratory STEM projects together. Pre-pandemic, the program brought together the same groups of students and mentors with a variety of hands-on projects several times over the course of an academic year and wrapped up with a culminating event at the KC Engineering Zone. Over the course of the pandemic, McClellan has used a variety of tools, including video Q&As and pep talks, to reach girls interested in STEM in new ways.

This school year, programs will be tailored based on what works best for each situation. The most recent event was an inaugural Girls in STEM session with middle school students from Central and Northeast Middle Schools in the Kansas City Public School district. Organized by KCPS team members Ericka Mabion and Marquis Hall, the session brought together dozens of middle school girls with Tammy Buckner, co-founder and CEO of WeCodeKC, and mentors from Olsson, Rockhurst University, UMKC-SCE Women in Tech Club, and US Engineering.

The girls enjoyed creating music with code, a hands-on building contest, conversations with mentors and lunch. Plans are already underway for follow-on events.

If you're interested in bringing a Girls in STEM event to your students, contact Marian at or 630-659-7748.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day // Feb 25

Educators: The Society of Women Engineers will host its 12th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on Friday, Feb. 25, at Bartle Hall Convention Center. Designed for high school women who show interest and aptitude in the areas of STEM, the event will connect with professional mentors. To limit COVID exposure, organizers will accept one teacher registration and a maximum of eight students per school. 

Register by February 1:

Competitions & Career Explo Planner

Missouri Junior Science & Humanities Symposium 

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium invites high school students to report on the results of their original research investigations in STEM and compete for scholarships and recognition at university-held regional symposia. The Missouri JSHS Symposium, hosted by the University of Missouri College of Engineering, takes place March 18-19 in Columbia and is open to students in grades 9-12 enrolled in public, private or home schools. Registration deadline is Feb. 14.

Learn more and register here > 

Missouri Health Care Career Day // Feb 25

Students can learn from a variety of health care professionals in Missouri via a livestream Health Care Career Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25. This free event comes from the Missouri Hospital Association, the Missouri Chamber Foundation and the Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education. Both K-12 and higher education students and school groups can register free of charge to see inside different occupational pathways, learn about the future of health care and virtually engage directly with professionals from some of the best health care centers around the state.

Register here >

FIRST Robotics Competition speeds ahead

A quick build session gives new teams a jump start on the season

Kick off reveals new game + team-building tools

Kansas City-area FIRST Robotics Competition teams action bolted into action on Jan. 8 with the reveal of this season's RAPID REACT game during a global watch party from FIRST headquarters. Students and mentors from more than 20 teams gathered at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and at the Kansas City Engineering Zone to watch the game reveal, receive their kit of parts and to jumpstart their season with a firsthand look at the Agile Work Profiler from The DeBruce Foundation. Several teams stayed for a quick build session with mentors to get a running start on the season.
The Agile Work Profiler, known as the AWP, helps people better understand their unique strengths and interests, known as Agilities, and put them to work in problem solving and in building experiences to meet future goals.

In an FRC setting, team members can use them to learn more about themselves and one another and to use that knowledge to work more effectively as a team. Teams that didn't attend in-person sessions last week may access the Agile Work Profiler as a team-building activity on their own, complete with a facilitation guide provided by The DeBruce Foundation. 
Ann Zimmerman, who serves as the ecosystem coordinator for the KC STEM Alliance and with The DeBruce Foundation as an Agilities trainer and consultant, says working through the process also helps students prepare for their next steps after high school.
"You can use the language of the Agilities to translate the skills you develop in FIRST Robotics into 'work skill' language you can use for scholarship and college applications or resumes," she says. "We know it can sometimes be difficult to articulate all of the skills you develop in FIRST and other STEM education experiences. The Agilities language can help!"

Learn more about the Agile Work Profiler >

Take a peek at the fun in store for teams in RAPID REACT >

Find out how to volunteer at a competition >

FIRST LEGO League teams to compete at KC Regionals

More than 250 students in fourth through eighth grades will come together Saturday, Jan. 29, to compete in the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Regional Championship at Crown Center. The championship will feature up to 30 teams that advanced from a field of 100+ teams through four regional qualifier tournaments in November and December.

Robot competitions will take place in the Crown Center Shops Atrium (next to Starbucks and SPIN! Pizza), with the opening ceremony and team celebration beginning around noon. If you've always wondered what FIRST LEGO League is all about, this is a great chance to find out as the competition is open and free to the public. (PLEASE NOTE: Masks are required for all team participants, coaches, mentors, volunteers and family members; and encouraged for the visiting public.)

Join the action with FIRST LEGO League Explore!

Did you know there’s still time to form a FIRST LEGO League Explore team for this season’s CARGO CONNECT challenge? FLL Explore (formerly called FLL Jr.) is for ages 6 to 10 and asks teams to explore a real-world theme using an exclusive LEGO® Education Inspire Model as a starting point. From there, teams design their own models with LEGO® elements. Visit the Kansas City FIRST site for full details about how the program works.

The season timeline:

  • Open Now: Team registration and Expo enrollment
  • Feb.  12: Coaches Workshop and Q&A (online)
  • March 19: Expo at Olathe South High School
  • March 26: Expo at Lee’s Summit North High School
  • April 2: Expo at Smith-Cotton High School (Sedalia)

Please note: Masks are required at all FIRST events. Questions? Contact Christina Chandler.

Stay up to date on all things FIRST at >

LHL STEM Ed // Robotics in the Classroom

4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb 2

Next up in the Linda Hall Library’s STEM Educator Initiative is a session about how teachers can most effectively use robotics and/or AI in the STEM classroom.

See details and register >

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