The Basics

Inspired by kids, built by Burns & McDonnell.

Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains is an academic competition that gives students in the greater Kansas City area the chance to earn $155,000 in grants by designing the next great exhibit for Science City. Over the past several years, Battle of the Brains has grown into one of the country’s most robust STEM competitions.

Battle of the Brains operates on a two-year cycle: one for the competition and one for the exhibit build-out. The winning entry from the 2015 competition — an outdoor exhibit centered around Simple Machines — is underway and working towards an early 2017 launch. Watch this page for more information about future events.

Participation numbers have risen every cycle. Since we began in 2011, we’ve received nearly 1,600 entries representing the ideas and efforts of more than 10,000 students.

Want to learn more about Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains? Check out this summary.

“For once I was able to find a truly project-based learning experience. This competition is oriented for student-centered, cooperative action. It was fantastic to watch a small spark grow.”
Lee Winslow, Belton High School