Kansas City Engineering Zone Celebrates Opening

Photo by Charles Maples

A space for creation & innovation

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Computing and Engineering and the KC STEM Alliance celebrated the opening of the Kansas City Engineering Zone with a dedication and thank you to donors and supporters.

The KC Engineering Zone is a pilot program that includes high school FIRST® Robotics teams from Paseo Academy of Fine & Performing Arts and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. Located on the UMKC campus at 4825 Troost Ave., it was established through a partnership with KC STEM Alliance, assistance from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the support of KC EZ founding partners: US Engineering, NNSA, Honeywell, BNIM, JE Dunn and Mark One Electric. These partners provided in-kind donations of equipment, project management and construction, as well as down-the-road corporate commitments of financial and volunteer support.

Students in the central city often lack science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and enrichment opportunities. KC EZ is a direct response to the equity and access issues faced by Kanas City’s K-12 urban schools.

While programs like FIRST Robotics improve student engagement, interest in STEM and preparation for success in college, Kansas City’s urban schools struggle to provide financial and volunteer support. Limited access to school buildings after hours and on weekends, as well as limited access to machine tools and space for designing, programming and building robots, make it challenging to grow valuable programs like FIRST Robotics. KC EZ will make navigating those barriers a little easier.

During the open house, KC EZ students shared progress on their robots as they prepare for this season’s game, “Recycle Rush,” to be played at the Greater Kansas City FIRST Robotics Competition, March 13 & 14 at MCC-Business & Technology.

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