PLTW Events & Competitions

KC STEM Alliance hosts several events and activities to inspire and motivate Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering and biomedical science senior capstone students toward excellence; recognize and reward a job well done; and help students with innovative projects connect with resources and mentors in the business community. Altogether, these activities comprise the Senior Capstone Innovation Model.

PLTW Senior Capstone Workshops

These annual events bring together high school seniors taking a PLTW capstone course in Engineering Design & Development (EDD) or Biomedical Innovation (BI). Students meet with area business professionals who serve as mentors to help students identify or refine ideas for senior capstone projects, while their teachers meet for professional development and sharing of best practices. The net result is a fun and creative way for students to interact with peers, teachers and mentors from across the region.

PLTW Engineering Senior Capstone Workshop

The PLTW Engineering Senior Capstone Workshop is a fun, creative environment for students to interact with peers and mentors and work in small groups to brainstorm or refine their problem statements. Students also learn more about area STEM competitions and the Senior Showcase while teachers meet separately during lunch to exchange ideas and best practices.

  • Date: September 17, 2019
  • Location: Burns & McDonnell
  • Audience: PLTW Engineering Design & Development students and teachers
  • Registration Deadline: September 4, 2019
  • To Register: Email Teri Kriege
  • Student Prep Tool: Students will get the most from the experience if they complete this guide and bring it to the workshop.

PLTW Biomedical Science Senior Capstone Workshop

The PLTW Biomedical Science Senior Capstone Workshop is a fun, creative environment for students to interact with peers and mentors and work in small groups to brainstorm or refine research projects, design solutions, job shadows or Public Service Announcements. Students also learn more about area STEM competitions and the Senior Showcase while teachers meet separately to exchange ideas and best practices.

  • Date: November 26, 2019
  • Location: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
  • Audience: PLTW Biomedical Innovation students and teachers
  • Registration Deadline: November 12, 2019
  • To Register: Email Teri Kriege before Nov. 12.

STEM Competitions

Area students enrolled in PLTW Engineering Design & Development or Biomedical Innovation courses may enter capstone projects in local competitions, two of which are eligible for scholarship awards through KC STEM Alliance: the PLTW KC–Engineering Design Competition and the PLTW KC–Biomedical Science Competition.

2020 PLTW KC–Engineering Design Competition

KC STEM Alliance recognizes top PLTW design projects in the engineering and biomedical science capstone courses through this annual competition. Competition participants submit projects online using the Innovation Portal, a free, open and secure tool for design and problem-solving works. Practicing industry professionals then judge student works, evaluating how the projects illustrate students’ design-thinking and problem-solving capabilities.

The top three teams are awarded scholarship prizes, to be split among team members:

  • First Place – $2,500;
  • Second Place – $1,500;
  • Third Place – $1,000.

Projects meeting specific criteria may also be recommended for consideration to external competitions, including the BioGENEius Innovation Challenge.

Eligibility: Participants must be enrolled in a PLTW Engineering Design & Development or Biomedical Innovation class within one of the following KC metro area counties: Cass, Clay, Jackson or Platte in Missouri; Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami or Wyandotte in Kansas.

Portfolio Creation Window: September 1, 2019–April 2, 2020

Competition Submission Window: March 16–April 2, 2020

Deadline for Submission to Competition: 11:59pm Central Time on April 2, 2020

Competition Website: www.innovationportal.org

For More Information: Contact Ann Zimmerman

2020 PLTW KC–Biomedical Research Competition

KC STEM Alliance recognizes top PLTW research projects in the biomedical science capstone course through this annual competition.

Competition participants submit projects online using the Innovation Portal, a free, open, and secure tool for design and problem-solving works. Practicing industry professionals then judge student works, evaluating how the projects illustrate students’ research capabilities.

The top three teams are awarded scholarship prizes, to be split among team members:

  • First Place – $2,500;
  • Second Place – $1,500;
  • Third Place – $1,000.

Projects meeting specific criteria may also be recommended for consideration to external competitions, including the BioGENEius Innovation Challenges.

Eligibility: Participants must be enrolled in a PLTW Engineering Design & Development or Biomedical Innovation class within one of the following KC metro area counties: Cass, Clay, Jackson or Platte in Missouri; Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami or Wyandotte in Kansas.

Portfolio Creation Window: September 1, 2019–April 2, 2020

Competition Submission Window: March 16–April 2, 2020

Deadline for Submission to Competition: 11:59pm Central Time on April 2, 2020

Competition Website: www.innovationportal.org

For More Information: Contact Ann Zimmerman

STEM Innovator Awards

The STEM Innovator Awards recognize innovativeness and marketability of PLTW senior capstone projects presented at the annual PLTW Senior Showcase. The projects are judged by “guest investors” from the business, academic, and entrepreneurial fields who listen to the students pitch their innovations and determine winners by investing “Commerce Bank Bucks” in the projects they deem to have the most creativity and market potential.

  • Deadline for Submission: March 6, 2020
  • How to Submit: Teachers recommend projects for submission by emailing Ann Zimmerman prior to the deadline
  • For More Information: Contact Ann Zimmerman

Make It REAL Scholarship

Graduating seniors who have completed a capstone project and participated in at least one Make It REAL Zoom workshop (see below for workshop schedule) may apply for one of three $500 Make It REAL scholarships. This is an opportunity for students to reflect on their capstone projects and Make It REAL experiences, sharing what they’ve learned along the way and how they perceive it will influence their future.

  • Application Opens: May 20, 2020
  • Application Deadline: June 5, 2020
  • Eligibility: Graduating high school students who have completed a capstone project and participated in at least one of the Make It REAL webinars are eligible to apply. Must be a resident of the 9-county Kansas City metro area (Jackson, Clay, Platte, Ray, Cass, MO; Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Miami, KS).
  • To Apply: Complete this application form, along with a written or video essay, no longer than 500 words for essays or 2 minutes for videos.

PLTW Showcase & Related Events

PLTW High School Senior Showcase

This annual event celebrates graduating PLTW students and highlights their senior capstone projects from the Engineering Design and Development and Biomedical Innovation courses in a festive event for friends, family, educators, business and community.

Students bring their PLTW curriculum to life as they share their projects with attendees, reviewers and judges for the STEM Innovator Award Contest. The Showcase and competition are open to the public and celebrate and recognize student innovation.

Make It REAL 2020: The Virtual Edition

Going virtual means that everyone is invited to Make It REAL 2020! Learn how an entrepreneurial mindset can give you the edge in any career during this series of Zoom sessions hosted by STARTLAND, formerly known as the Kansas City Startup Foundation.

If you’re curious about entrepreneurship, join this Zoom series to help you transition from thinking about academic projects to making your ideas REAL. Listen, learn and talk to local inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs as they integrate business realities into the innovation process. Then learn how your unique strengths can help you move forward with your project or other future plans. The sessions include:

 

  • Why Is Being Entrepreneurial Important? 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 12—Learn how an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit can give you an edge in any career. Panelists include Andy Stoll, Senior Program Officer of the Kauffman Foundation; Don Carter, executive coach at doncarter.co; Nia Richardson of KC Bizcare; and Toby Rush, serial entrepreneur and investor. STARTLAND CEO Adam Arredondo will moderate.
    Register here.

 

  • Who Cares About My Idea? 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 13—A viable product or idea needs someone else who cares about the problem you’re solving and is willing to pay for your solution. Learn strategies for testing your prototype or idea and preparing for the next level of marketing and stakeholder analysis. This panel includes Anita Newton, Chief Innovation Officer at CommunityAmerica Credit Union; Hunter Browning, Chief Technology Officer at Labor Chart; Jeff Shackelford, President & CEO of Enterprise Center in Johnson County; and Nick Franano of Flow Forward. STARTLAND CEO Adam Arredondo will moderate.
    Register here.

 

  • When Should I Worry About Protecting My Idea? 1 p.m. Thursday, May 14—Even if you aren’t inventing a product, it’s important to know a few basic facts about patents, trademarks and copyrights. This panel discussion will help you learn when it makes sense to protect your invention and available options for doing so. The panel includes Erin Smith, founder of FacePrint; Tony Simpson of BioNexus-KC and Diana Kander, New York Times bestselling author and Innovation Consultant. STARTLAND CEO Adam Arredondo will moderate.
    Register here.

 

  • Draw Your Future with Agilities: 1 p.m. Thursday, May 15—Agilities are work strengths and interests that can help you solve problems and plan for your career. Join this session for a fun and creative way of looking at how to use Agilities for the next step with your project, thinking about your future or simply to bravely navigate uncertain times. Register here.

 

  • Invitation Only Brainstorming + Feedback Sessions: May 18-19—These sessions are for competition winners and teacher-recommended teams. Sessions include the opportunity to pitch projects to a team of three mentors and receive coaching on identifying next steps for moving projects forward.