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New grants and conferences for educators


PLTW offers generous grants for PLTW new programs

If you've been thinking about introducing a new Project Lead The Way program to your school, make sure to review PLTW's New Program grants, which 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. If you have questions, contact PLTW staff for guidance:

Search for opportunities and apply here >



Don't miss 'Every School Can: CSK5 Nation Summit' on 9/22

Attention all Kansas and Missouri K-5 principals, superintendents, district curriculum leads, and STEM/computer science advocates! Please join in September 22 at 2 p.m. for one hour, well-spent: it’s the online event CSK5, the First National Summit for K-5 Computer Science Education.  

The theme is Every School Can. First, 30 minutes of guidance and specific resources from five top national organizations in CS education. Then, 30-minute breakout sessions, featuring specific state programs. Sign up and spread the word to colleagues and staff!  See the Missouri flyer and Kansas flyer for more details.

Register here >

STEM School Educators to Covene in KC

Did you know the NCSSS Professional Conference is coming to Kansas City this November? 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.

Session strands include wellness, research, math, computer science, and administration, among others. NCSSS member Blue Valley CAPS will host a tour during the conference.  Area school leaders can receive a $100 registration discount by using the code KC2021. 

Learn more and register here >


4 opportunities to share right now

Calling #GirlsinTechKC: AiC Award applications now open!

Attention high school students: It’s time to apply for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC), which honors 9th-12th grade women, genderqueer or non-binary students for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST on November 5, 2021.

Learn more about the criteria and how to apply >


An inside look at a career in IT (2 p.m. Friday, 9/25)

Learn all about working in the I.T. industry during Friday's virtual session for high school students from the Linda Hall Library Students will get academic and career advice from Du’An Lightfoot, founder of LabEveryday, and can ask questions about coursework, internships, college and certificate programs, and anything else about becoming a successful I.T. professional. Parents, teachers, and mentors also are welcome.

Register here >

Explore nature with Green Works in Kansas City

The Green Works in Kansas City FREE ECOS program has just kicked off its new season of programming for students in grades 4-8, including hikes, bird watching, identification of native trees and plants, nature art projects and more. ECOS takes place 10 a.m. to Noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays during the school year at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, near 47th and Troost, and at Lakeside Nature Center in Swope Park. Green Works also takes ECOS programs on the road to a variety of schools and community centers in KCMO.

Register here >

 Cool Science Competition seeks K-12 artists

Cool Science's Extreme Weather Art Competition challenges artists in grades K-12 to express learning about science concepts through the visual arts. Winning artists will see their works displayed on public transit in the KC metro! See the previous regional winners’ work here.

Learn more >


KC STEM Summit Recap + Next Steps

KC STEM Summit 2021 wrapped up last week after with great discussions on building an equitable learning community with Dr. Nicole Price; a panel discussion about the power of data in strengthening our ecosystem; and a fun celebration of Remake Learning Days 2021. If you missed the summit, you can find all of the recordings and recaps here.

Upcoming ways to get involved:

Remake Learning Days 2022 Planning Kick Off
11:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 6 


Remake Learning Days is a community-wide festival of innovative learning and all are welcome to join in planning for 2022. Lunch will be provided for those attending in person at The DeBruce Foundation Agilities Accelerator (space is limited). RSVP >

Regional Data Strategy Professional Learning Community
12:-1:30 p.m. Thursday, October 14

Building off last week's panel discussion, a new Regional Data Professional Learning Community will convene to continue the conversation and develop action steps to take this work forward.

Register here for the Zoom link >


Transform STEM ed by sharing your story

The unCommission is an opportunity for young people to share their journey with STEM to shape the future of STEM education. It will uplift stories from those who have directly experienced STEM education, centering the voices of Black, Latinx, and Native American students. Once stories are submitted, they will be read and listened to by trained researchers, who will pull out themes and patterns to inform policymakers. Please share this opportunity with young people in your networks.

  • By sharing their experiences, storytellers will make a real contribution to national efforts to improve STEM learning for young people in your communities and across the country.

  • As a thank you, storytellers who share their stories by Oct. 15 will receive a $25 gift they can choose from a list.

Learn more and share your story >


FIRST Tech Challenge season kick off

The FIRST Tech Challenge FREIGHT FRENZY season kicked off Saturday, Sept. 18, with a hybrid event across the state. Catch up with how the season will be structured and this year's game with this recording of the livestream from the event.

Watch now >

FIRST LEGO League Updates


FREE learning opportunity for CARGO CONNECT

Professionals from Hnry Logistics, a division of Yellow/Roadway Freight, will help teams learn about the logistics and shipping industry with a free Q&A session via Zoom at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. The call will include:

Rick Loerke - Manager of Expedited and engineered solutions
James Chandler - Customer Solutions Coordinator - Expedited Solutions
Matt Lee - Vice President Hnry Logistics and Hnry shared services

Register your team here >

Starting a team this year?

A new virtual coaching workshop session posts tomorrow, followed by a live virtual Q&A session on October 2. 

Watch the workshop here (available 9/23) >

Register for the Q&A session >


Season Schedule Updates

The Kansas City region is planning for an in-person 2021-2022 FIRST Lego League Challenge season. Qualifiers are tentatively scheduled as follows:

  • Qualifier #1 November 20, 2021 | Olathe NW High School, Olathe, KS
  • Qualifier #2 December 4, 2021 | Troost Elementary School, Kansas City, MO
  • Qualifier #3 December 11, 2021 | Lawrence High School, Lawrence, KS
  • Qualifier #4 December 18, 2021 | Summit Lakes Middle School, Lee’s Summit, MO

Registered teams will receive the link to sign up for tournaments via email.


Make It Real Innovation Experience

Project Lead The Way engineering students from around the region kicked off their senior capstone experience with a Zoom-facilitated hybrid workshop at their own schools. KC STEM Alliance, The DeBruce Foundation and Startland led students through workshops that included using Agilities for team building and “Finding a Problem Worth Solving,” engaging in ideation, empathy, and problem validation. Throughout the school year, students will have a chance to receive feedback from entrepreneurs and engineers through “pitch it as you build it” sessions led by Startland. Their work culminates in the spring with competitions around engineering design and innovation.


#WeSeeYou: Shawnee Mission grad excels in STEM

KSHB Channel 41 profiled recent Shawnee Mission grad Lindsey Chiu, a FIRST Robotics team member who also excelled in her PLTW engineering classes at the Shawnee Mission Center for Academic Achievement:

Watch the segment >

Community STEM Day

Many STEM Connect-KC partners came together to celebrate Community STEM Day organized by aSTEAM Village on Sept. 16, which featured "Mr. Fascinate" Justin Schaifer.

See more event photos >

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