KC STEM Alliance was founded in 2011 to connect the many STEM education and workforce initiatives in our community. The alliance serves as the backbone organization for Kansas City’s STEM learning ecosystem; supports leading in-school and out-of-school STEM programs; and focuses on addressing inequities in STEM education by closing opportunity gaps.
Since it began in 2011, KC STEM Alliance has grown into a nationally recognized model for supporting K-12 STEM education and developing innovative ways to collaborate across sectors. In 2015, the alliance formalized partnerships with other Kansas City organizations and was recognized as a STEM Learning Ecosystem by the STEM Funders Network. The STEM Ecosystems initiative is a national effort to engage young people in STEM through strong interconnected community networks. Kansas City’s growing STEM Learning Ecosystem is working together to ensure access and equity to quality STEM experiences for all.
Increasing Inclusivity and Access
KC Engineering Zone (KC EZ)
KC EZ is a safe and supportive work and learning space where Kansas City’s K-12 urban students can acquire real-world knowledge, skills and experience through hands-on STEM programming. In partnership with UMKC School of Science and Engineering, KC STEM Alliance opened the 4,200-foot space in 2015 with generous assistance from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and five major founding partners: US Engineering, NNSA, Honeywell, BNIM, JE Dunn and Mark One Electric.
Today KC EZ serves as a build space for four urban FIRST Robotics teams, hosts We Code KC tech classes and events and other STEM programming such as summer camps.
Girls in STEM
KC STEM Alliance intentionally works to increase the participation of girls in STEM through both formal and informal activities. The Perry Outreach Program, for example, offers high school women hands-on exploration of biomedical engineering during a day-long workshop with local biomedical professionals. Girls in Tech KC, an initiative to inspire interest in technology and computer science, brings middle school girls to corporate partner sites each December for hands-on coding activities. Women in STEM luncheons during FIRST Robotics Competition regional events bring together high school women with STEM professionals in an informal setting. KC STEM Alliance also provides strategic counsel to other organizations, building from the work of the Closing the Gender Gap report.
KC STEM Alliance provides wrap-around support for the nationally recognized Project Lead The Way® STEM curriculum. With hands-on, project-based learning in the fields of engineering, biomedical science and computer science, Project Lead The Way turns classrooms into spaces where content comes to life. Learn more about KC STEM Alliance’s work with Project Lead The Way.
After school: KC FIRST Robotics
FIRST inspires innovation, builds STEM skills and fosters self-confidence, communication and leadership. KC STEM Alliance staff serve as regional partners and program support for this nationally renowned robotics program, which includes a full suite of mentor-based, after school programs starting with FIRST LEGO League and building to the high school level FIRST Robotics Competition. Learn more about KC FIRST.