Tag Archives: Kansas City

UMKC NSBE Student Chapter Hosts Regional Conference


It was a busy summer for mechanical engineering student Sierra Shipley and electrical computer engineering student William Leverette as they served on the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Regional Leadership Conference Planning Committee helping to the organize NSBE Regional Leadership Conference held here in Kansas City August 9 – 11, 2013. Along with their NSBE student chapter staff advisor Selena Albert, Sierra and William made sure the 100 NSBE student engineers who traveled from all over the Midwest to attend the conference walked away with a better understanding of what it means to be a leader. See the UMKC Today article, UMKC Hosts National Society of Black Engineers Leadership Conference, for more information.

SCE Students and Staff Lead Google Fiber Summer App Camps for High School Students


SCE students and staff were prime movers in ensuring two one-week Google Fiber Summer App Camps held this July at SCE were great successes. Matt Mohler, electrical computer engineering junior, IEEE Robotics team member and SCE Student Ambassador, served as the director for both camps. Using MIT’s App Inventor software and hands-on instructional techniques, students learned how to develop applications for Android platform phones. 17 Kansas City Missouri School District high school students and one teacher participated in the first camp session and 21 Kansas City Kansas School District high school students and two teachers participated in the second camp session. Continue reading

PLTW High School Senior Showcase Attracts 250 Senior Projects

Sixty-three Missouri and Kansas high schools participate in Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a KC-STEM Alliance affiliate that provides STEM hands-on, extracurricular coursework to 9-12 students that culminates in a capstone project during their senior year (12th grade). The slide show, KC High School Seniors Strut their STEM Stuff, posted at KCPT reflects the work and enthusiasm of the 250 high school seniors participating at the second annual PLTW High School Senior Showcase on April 18, 2013. Kevin Truman, Dean of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, helped to found the KC-STEM Alliance and currently serves on the PLTW STEM Industry Council.

The KC-STEM Alliance partners “with affiliate organizations, like PLTW® -Kansas City and Kansas City FIRST®, who are making a significant difference in the Kansas City STEM community and laying the foundation for student success. These partnerships benefit students and organizations by connecting resources, sharing information and streamlining communications.” KC-STEM Alliance estimates that “more than 12,000 students are served by programs like PLTW and FIRST across the metropolitan area.” Laura Loyacono is the KC-STEM Alliance Executive Director.

SCE turns out to help with FIRST Tech Challenge regional competition at UMKC

Dozens of SCE’s faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteered at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) regional qualifier, RING IT UP, held Sunday, Feb. 3rd at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and hosted by SCE in partnership with the KC STEM Alliance. Pictures taken by the Kansas City Star captured the excitement and the many SCE volunteers serving on set-up, registration, safety, competition, judging, pit, queuing, refreshment, and traffic crews and as scorekeepers, announcers, and referees.

The event, organized and coordinated by SCE’s Whitney Molloy and Valeri Reynolds, attracted 23 teams from the Greater Kansas City area and beyond as teams traveled from Camdenton, St Louis, and Rolla in MO, Millington, TN and Lincoln, NE to participate. The following teams advanced to the state championship to be held in Rolla, MO on Feb. 23: iBot, Rolla Patriots, Cyberbotic Independence Alliance, Maniacal Mechanics, Camdenton 4-H Laser -5909, and TJ Titanium Titans.

SCE ASHRAE members tour Veolia Energy Plant

UMKC’s Student Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) toured the Veolia Kansas City District Energy Plant on Monday, November 5, 2012, as guests of the Kansas City ASHRAE Chapter. The Veolia Plant, originally built by KCP&L, currently produces 1.3M pounds per hour of steam and 10,650 tons of chilled water capacity with a distribution network of 6.5 miles of steam pipes and 2.0 miles of chilled water pipes, serving approximately 60 customers in Kansas City’s Central Business District.


Pictured from left to right are Vincent Joseph Nolan (UMKC ASHRAE Student Chapter President), Dr. Bryan R. Becker, P.E. (ASHRAE Faculty Advisor), Gabriel De Oliveira Barbosa, Vinicius Santos Neiva, and Timothy Michael Williams (ASHRAE student members).

SCE students mentored award winning First Lego League teams

The Rock’n Robo Rabbits, a First Lego League team of homeschool students from the Learn Science and Math Club, earned the first place inspiration award at the First Lego League world competition held in St. Louis on April 28th. SCE mechanical engineering student Taya Upkes and SCE computer science student Sarah Withee mentored both the Rock’n Robo Rabbits and the ShawdowKnights during 2011-2012. Together Taya and Sarah logged over 150 hours mentoring the teams as they built and programmed their robots. Both teams competed in the December 2011 local qualifier competition winning awards and earned the right to compete at the January 2012 regional competition. The Rock’n Robo Rabbits won the Chairman’s award at the regionals and then the First Place Inspiration Award for extraordinary outreach and community service efforts at the April 2012 world competition. The ShadowKnights placed in the top twelve at regionals.

Sarah Withee’s team wins Best Mobile App at Hack the Midwest Contest

Hack the Midwest, an event designed to bring developers and designers together to create a working website or mobile app in 24 hours, brought together over 100 developers and 28 different apps. SCE’s own Sarah Withee, along with friends Abbey Trotta (a UMKC computer science alumni), Sarah Peters, and Kevin Donnelly developed an iPhone game called Number Scram. They won the Best Mobile App award, and received a Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch for the prize!

“Number Scram is a game where the goal is to score as many points as possible in 60 seconds. Points are scored by reaching a target number using a combination of digits and math operators. Users can earn multipliers to their score for each problem by using digits with an apple (2x) or gold star (3x) next to them. The app also keeps track of user stats including number of games played, highest score, average score and most math operators used in a single game.” Be sure to look for Number Scram in the Apple App Store in a few weeks. Screen shots of the app they developed can be found here.

Congratulations to Sarah and her teammates! Pictured from left to right: Kevin Donnelly, CS graduate from University of Missouri-Columbia; Sarah Peters, MSA CS graduate from Northwest Missouri State University; Abbey Trotta, CS graduate from UMKC and Sarah Withee, CS student at UMKC.

Kevin Z. Truman General Co-Chair for NSF Think Tank

UMKC’s Dean Kevin Z. Truman and Director of Research Dr. Ronda Jenson served as general co-chairs for the Transition STEM –Think Tank– a veterans’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education think tank – sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Kansas City on July 27-28, 2011. Kevin Truman is the Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering and Dr. Ronda Jenson is the Director of Research at UMKC’s Institute for Human Development, The invitation-only event convened national leaders to help veterans with service-connected disabilities transition into post-secondary science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The Think Tank was the first of its kind and was featured in the Association of University Centers on Disabilities News and in NSF Discoveries. See the Transition Stem website for more details on the objectives and goals of the Think Tank and the NSF funded KC-BANCS grant which sponsored the Think Tank.