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Project Lead The Way Students Excel at 48-hour Innovation Competition!

This past weekend, the innovation corridors of The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) played host to a riveting 48-hour 'Stadium Experience' competition, where seven teams from Project Lead The Way showcased their ingenuity.

Amidst fierce competition, one team emerged victorious, clinching the prestigious title, along with a handsome reward of $2,000, a hand-crafted trophy, and a coveted seat at Nationals this November. The triumphant team of four was the Innovation Hall Bears from Willow Springs High, comprising Matthew Knapp, PLTW teacher and team captain, alongside Madalyn Poor, Nolan Perkins, and Seth Wake. Their groundbreaking concept captivated the judges and secured them the top honor of Best Innovation.

Innovation Hall Bears with Taylor Puett, Jason Rausch and Vicky Bender (Project Lead The Way)

The decision was a challenging one, with a distinguished panel of four judges presiding over the event. This panel featured leaders from PLTW, Sporting KC, New Reflections, and The DeBruce Foundation. Recognizing excellence across various domains, the judges also awarded accolades for Best Agilites© (courtesy of The DeBruce Foundation) and a Best Pitch award. 

Judge Panel: Mark Byrd (New Reflections), Chioma Atanmo (Sporting KC), Jason Rausch (Project Lead The Way), and Kristie Larson (DeBruce Foundation)

Tiger Innovations from Excelsior Springs H.S., under the guidance of Tony Harman, PLTW teacher and team captain, clinched the Best Agilities© award. Katelin Mansell, Caroline Wenz, and Cameron Harris identified their Agilities© prior to the competition, which allowed them to leverage their skills during the competition. 

5 individuals with award and Sporting KC mascot
Tiger Innovations from Excelsior Springs H.S with Kristie Larson (Debruce) and Blue (Sporting KC Mascot)

[Redacted] from Columbia Area Career Center, led by Michael Merz, PLTW teacher and team captain, and students Camden Fallon, Aashish Gadicherla, and Jacob Moore, impressed with the Best Pitch. The team communicated their idea to the judges flawlessly and compellingly. 

5 individuals with award with Sporting KC mascot
[Redacted] from Columbia Area Career Center with Mark Byrd (New Reflections) and Blue (Sporting KC Mascot)

Throughout the intense competition, teams were tasked with conceiving a brand-new idea, crafting a physical prototype with the assistance of the Tool Techs, and presenting their innovation through a one-minute marketing video and a concise Sales Sheet. The adrenaline-fueled journey of these young innovators was captured on film, set to be showcased in the upcoming 8th season of Make48. Stay tuned for the release of two episodes on This Old House Makers Channel (Roku) later this year.

Innovation knows no bounds, and these bright minds are a testament to that. Here's to the spirit of creativity and the limitless possibilities it brings forth!

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