Our K-12 programs are geared toward students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. We offer middle and high school students a chance to build robots at the FIRST Tech Challenge and design bridges at the RooBuilders Bridge Building Competition. Students work for months honing their projects while applying real-world engineering and computing skills. Both programs culminate at an event on the UMKC campus at which teams from across the region compete for bragging rights.

FIRST Tech Challenge

Students in grades 7-12 build and program robots to compete in an alliance format against other Kansas City schools. Teams pull in mentors, volunteers and coaches for advice. The competition requires teamwork, project management, engineering, programming and problem-solving skills. Winners have a chance to enter the world competition and earn scholarships.

RooBuilders Competition

Middle and high school teams design, build and ultimately test – that is, destroy – a custom bridge. Teams must apply the laws of physics and sharpen their engineering skills. The goal is to create a bridge that can withstand the maximum load before collapsing. The teams work with SCE civil engineering students and faculty to create a computer model of the bridge and perform a design analysis to look for modifications. Teams from throughout Kansas City compete.