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 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:
We’re moving the needle. Since we began in 2011, more than 10,000 students have benefitted from a one-of-a-kind educational experience. The competition has produced four interactive exhibits valued at more than $3 million: Science of Energy, Genetics: Unlock the Code, Every 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 additions have made a difference at Science City, boosting attendance by 35 percent and encouraging thousands of visitors each year to explore STEM topics.
“My students grew exponentially in the realm of STEM awareness, personal dedication and project completion. They learned to collaborate — not just with each other but with scientists and engineers.”
Jennifer Thomas, Turner High School