Support PLTW Students

KC STEM Alliance provides targeted support for students enrolled in Project Lead The Way, with special attention on activities during the senior year capstone course. Thanks to the quality and engagement of our volunteers, these activities make a real difference in students’ experiences. As PLTW enrollment continues to grow, we need even more volunteers to support these innovative STEM students.

Ways to Get Involved

PLTW Senior Capstone Fall Workshops for Engineering and Biomedical Science

Description:  Attended by 300+ students and teachers from 37 schools, these workshops provide a fun, creative environment for students to interact one-on-one with peers and mentors and brainstorm or refine their problem statements in small groups. During the workshops KC STEM Alliance also announces capstone competitions and the Senior Showcase and provides tips for using the Innovation Portal.

Date:   Engineering Workshop is September 17, 2019; Biomed is Nov. 26, 2019.

Time:  9 a.m.-noon (lunch provided)

Volunteer Role: Mentor teams in small group setting; networking activity

PLTW-KC Research & Design Competitions 2020

Description: KC STEM Alliance uses the Innovation Portal for online competitions recognizing excellence in engineering design or biomedical research and design. Volunteers use the rubric embedded in the Innovation Portal to judge projects online. Projects that meet specific criteria may also be recommended for consideration to other competitions, including the BioGENEius Innovation Challenge.

Date: April 4-April 17 (judging window)

Volunteer Role: Judge three to four projects online (takes three to four hours, any time during the judging window).

Types of Volunteers Needed: Engineering, computer science and technology professionals for the engineering competition and healthcare professionals, scientists, researchers or STEM faculty for the biomedical competition.

PLTW High School Senior Showcase

Description: The Senior Showcase celebrates PLTW students by highlighting their senior capstone projects and sharing them with the community. During the event, judges identify Innovator Award winners and recognize research and design contest winners from the online competitions. The event is attended by 300+ engineering students and teachers and 100+ biomed students and teachers with a total attendance of about 1,000 as guests, family and school attendees join in.

Date:  April 21, 2020

Location: Hy-Vee Arena, Kansas City

Volunteer Roles: Judges for the Innovator Awards and Project Reviewers

Innovator Award judging occurs during the showcase and recognizes innovativeness and marketability of project ideas. Teachers will screen projects and recommend top teams for judging. Business development professionals and entrepreneurs make a great fit for this assignment.

   Time: 8:30–11 a.m. (2.5 hours). 

Project Reviewers conduct five short (5 minute) interviews of student teams not participating in the Innovator Award judging during the showcase open house.

   Time: 30 minutes between 9 and 11 a.m. 

Make It REAL Workshop

Description: Local entrepreneurs mentor students interested in commercializing their innovations during this workshop attended by select winners of senior capstone competitions across region, including PLTW Research and Design Competitions, Innovator Award winners, BioGENEius and the Greater KC Science Fair.

Date:   May 29, 2020

Time:  8:30 a.m. –1 p.m.

Location: KC STEM Alliance’s KC Engineering Zone