Supporting Science City

A place where big ideas come to life.

A science center thrives because of inviting exhibits, but also because it’s valued as a community amenity and tourist attraction. A beneficial cycle begins with repeat attendance and volunteer support, providing financial support that pours back into the center.

The people feed the rejuvenation. At Science City, the Burns & McDonnell Foundation is giving that beneficial process a kick-start — and encouraging kids to love STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at the same time.

Our partnership with Science City centers on Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains, one of the country’s most robust STEM competitions. With this innovative effort, schools throughout the greater Kansas City metropolitan area can earn a piece of the $155,000-plus grant by designing the next great exhibit for Science City.

The benefit is two-fold — promoting STEM initiatives and adding new innovative exhibits. Our efforts reflect our deeply held beliefs:

  • Students of all ages and all abilities will benefit from exposure to STEM topics.
  • A project-based, experiential learning opportunity can encourage a passion for STEM.
  • Teachers supporting extra opportunities to engage kids in STEM merit a high level of support.
  • Kansas City deserves an innovative, state-of-the-art science center for our children.
  • Science City can fulfill its promise as a world-class science center.

We’re moving the needle. Since we began in 2011, more than 11,000 students have benefitted from a one-of-a-kind educational experience. The competition has produced four interactive exhibits: Science of Energy, Genetics: Unlock the CodeEvery Last Drop and Simple Machines at Play. We’ve also invested in two additional exhibits — Science on a Sphere and the Burns & McDonnell Engineerium. These exhibits represent an investment in the community of more than $6 million.

These additions have made a difference at Science City, boosting attendance by 35 percent and encouraging thousands of visitors each year to explore STEM topics.

“Students aren’t creating a product for a hypothetical environment or ’playing’ at being scientists. They must make a plan for a REAL product that will be right down the street from them should they win.”
Jennifer Thomas, Turner High School