Free State High team wins 2nd place, $25K in ‘STEM Battle of the Brains!’ contest
photo by: Courtesy of Lawrence school district
Free State High School recently earned second place and a $25,000 grant in the Burns & McDonnell “STEM Battle of the Brains!” contest, according to a news release from the Lawrence school district.
The Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains competition is a K-12 STEM program that involves thousands of students pitching their unique classroom idea for a permanent exhibit at Science City, which is part of the Union Station complex in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Free State team, coached by Jeff Morrison, submitted “Nature’s Blueprint: A World of Animal Architecture” as its Science City exhibit proposal.
Free State’s team included Adele Buren, Niko Eidemiller, Harper Finck, Isla Gnojek, Chloe Hannings, Zach Hansen Terry, Ethan Hart, Emmett Henry, Brendan Hethcoat, Ben Jackson, Connor MacFarland, Hope Northrop, Gillian Sellet and Sejun Yun, according to a news release from the Lawrence school district.
This year’s grand prize of $50,000 went to Delta Woods Middle School in the Blue Springs school district for its entry titled “ElectroMAGNIFICENT!” The 14-member team will work with professionals at Burns & McDonnell to transform their proposal into a $1 million exhibit at Science City. The exhibit is set to open in the spring of 2025.
The 2023-24 competition included more than 6,800 students from 245 schools across 50 school districts throughout the Kansas City region, according to a news release on the Burns & McDonnell website. Judges ranked entries according to criteria “ranging from creativity and inspiration to how interactive and engaging the exhibit would be for visitors.”