SCE is a proud collaborator on the $2.5 million KC HealthTracks project grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health National Workforce Diversity Pipeline. A major goal of the KC HealthTracks project is to promote a pipeline into biomedical sciences careers for low-income and minority students . According to the UMKC Today article Introducing KC HealthTracks, “The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies and the School of Computing and Engineering, working with community partners including KC STEM Alliance and seven school districts, received a five-year grant for $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health National Workforce Diversity Pipeline.”
On February 9, 2015 the KC STEM Alliance was awarded the UMKC Trustees Community Partnership Award which “recognizes a business or organization that contributes to the university through programs and/or projects that help the university live up to its urban-serving mission of education and research.” In just three short years, KC STEM Alliance has become a leading convener of K-12 STEM education and enrichment in our region. Guided by Executive Director, Laura Loyacono and Advisory Board Chair, Kevin Z. Truman, Dean of UMKC School of Computing and Engineering; KC STEM Alliance collaborates with local school districts, post-secondary and research institutions, industry partners and hundreds of mentors and volunteers from around our region to provide STEM educational and enrichment opportunities to nearly 25,000 students.
Dean Kevin Truman and the faculty and staff of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering joined with our Kansas City community to celebrate the opening of the Kansas City Engineering Zone (KC EZ) on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Located on the UMKC campus at 4825 Troost Ave., KC EZ is a direct response to the equity and access issues faced by Kanas City’s K-12 urban schools and their students, providing tremendous STEM resources and mentoring.
2014 marked the second year for the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering to host the Kansas City Qualifier for the FIRST Tech Challenge.
This year, over 250 students from 25 teams participated in the qualifier, despite inclement weather and a delayed start. Of the 25 teams from Missouri, Kansas, Indiana and Arkansas, four will now move on to the Missouri State Championships, held March 1st in Rolla, MO.
The four teams advancing are:
- Café Bot, an independent team from Webster Groves, MO
- Astromechs, a community team from Kansas City, MO
- S.W.A.T., Smithville High School from Smithville, MO
- The Red Hot Techie Peppers, LEARN Science and Math Club from Kansas City, MO
Faculty, staff and students from the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering worked with the KC STEM Alliance to organize this year’s qualifier.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is a competition designed for students in middle and high school to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots.
The pictures are in and say it all. Congratulations to the participating middle school students and the SCE faculty, staff and engineering students that provided instruction and hands-on demonstrations at the June 25-27, 2013 KCP&L Energy Camp held at SCE. The camp was sponsored by KCP&L, SCE and the KC STEM Alliance. For additional information, see the UMKC Today news article “Energy Camp Inspires KC Students to Enter STEM Fields.”
Summer time is always a busy time at SCE. Over the past several years our labs and classrooms have been filled with students coming to UMKC SCE to attend various summer programs for elementary, middle and high school students and 7-12 teachers. This summer 2013 we are proud to host six summer camps during June and July.
- Learn Science & Math Club’s Math Blast Camp will be held at SCE in early June, kicking off our summer program schedule. Using a completely interactive approach to math, the camp invites 8-12 year old students to get their “math on” through hands-on projects and group games. Continue reading
Sixty-three Missouri and Kansas high schools participate in Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a KC-STEM Alliance affiliate that provides STEM hands-on, extracurricular coursework to 9-12 students that culminates in a capstone project during their senior year (12th grade). The slide show, KC High School Seniors Strut their STEM Stuff, posted at KCPT reflects the work and enthusiasm of the 250 high school seniors participating at the second annual PLTW High School Senior Showcase on April 18, 2013. Kevin Truman, Dean of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, helped to found the KC-STEM Alliance and currently serves on the PLTW STEM Industry Council.
The KC-STEM Alliance partners “with affiliate organizations, like PLTW® -Kansas City and Kansas City FIRST®, who are making a significant difference in the Kansas City STEM community and laying the foundation for student success. These partnerships benefit students and organizations by connecting resources, sharing information and streamlining communications.” KC-STEM Alliance estimates that “more than 12,000 students are served by programs like PLTW and FIRST across the metropolitan area.” Laura Loyacono is the KC-STEM Alliance Executive Director.
Dozens of SCE’s faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteered at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) regional qualifier, RING IT UP, held Sunday, Feb. 3rd at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and hosted by SCE in partnership with the KC STEM Alliance. Pictures taken by the Kansas City Star captured the excitement and the many SCE volunteers serving on set-up, registration, safety, competition, judging, pit, queuing, refreshment, and traffic crews and as scorekeepers, announcers, and referees.
The event, organized and coordinated by SCE’s Whitney Molloy and Valeri Reynolds, attracted 23 teams from the Greater Kansas City area and beyond as teams traveled from Camdenton, St Louis, and Rolla in MO, Millington, TN and Lincoln, NE to participate. The following teams advanced to the state championship to be held in Rolla, MO on Feb. 23: iBot, Rolla Patriots, Cyberbotic Independence Alliance, Maniacal Mechanics, Camdenton 4-H Laser -5909, and TJ Titanium Titans.
UMKC SCE Alumna Taya Upkes was featured in Tuesday’s July 24 Kansas City Star article, Engineering challenges: Keep female graduates, stoke interest among girls. The article focuses on the opportunities for female engineering graduates and the unfortunate nationwide trend of fewer women choosing engineering as a career. Laura Loyacono, Director of the Kansas City based KC STEM Alliance, said that “the perception that engineering is for boys only remains a big deterrent”. The KC STEM Alliance was funded and supported one year ago by the Kauffman Foundation. Kevin Truman, Dean of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, was instrumental in obtaining the KC STEM Alliance grant and currently serves as the chair of its board of directors.
The Kansas City Power and Light’s Get Into Energy Camp ran from June 20-22, and served 24 Kansas City, MO area students. Participating schools were Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, Frontier School of Excellence, Paseo Academy of Performing Arts and Southwest High School. The School of Computing and Engineering faculty and students led the young participants through hands-on experiments that demonstrated magnetism, physics and electricity. The camp was held at SCE in Flarsheim Hall. UMKC SCE Professors Daniel Leon-Salas and Mike Kelly and UMKC Physics Professor Robert Riggs provided hands-on instruction. Six UMKC IEEE Robotics team members and their advisor Debby Dilks provided instruction on circuits and energy using circuit and green technology kits. Also supporting the camp was the KC STEM Alliance, an independent initiative based at UMKC with a mission of inspiring more students to pursue careers in STEM and build a robust workforce for the region. For more details and slideshow visit “Get into Energy” and also see the 06.26.12 UMatters article.