KC STEM Alliance, one of the lead partners of ecosySTEM KC, calls on its network of industry and nonprofit partners to enrich student and teacher experiences with Project Lead The Way, a national project-based in-school curriculum. The approach is working: Student enrollment increased 92 percent from 2014-15 to 2015-16, reaching more than 37,000 students in 33 school districts.
To kick off the event, KC STEM Alliance organizes a fall workshop, typically hosted by an industry or higher education partner, where students meet in small groups with mentors to get feedback on their project ideas. The day also includes a breakout session on other local competitions hosted by ecosySTEM KC members and an inspirational talk from a STEM entrepreneur. KC STEM Alliance also partners with LRNG KC to offer an online experience that helps students prepare for their senior capstone projects.
The showcase experience culminates in the spring with a scholarship competition and the Senior Showcase event. During the event, which now includes more than 400 students, student teams share their innovative ideas with mock investors from the business and startup community. The winning teams earn the opportunity to participate in an entrepreneurial workshop hosted by KC STEM Alliance and partners.
KC STEM Alliance also supports PLTW with teacher training, networking and facilitation of the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway. Read more about KC STEM Alliance’s work with Project Lead The Way: http://www.kcstem.org/for-educators/project-lead-the-way-support/.