Lee's Summit R-7 School District
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Battle of the Brains finalists enjoy some Burns and McDonnell swag.

Summit Technology Academy engineering students are finalists for Burns & Mac’s Battle of the Brains Competition

The Battle of the Brains bus rolled into the Summit Technology Academy parking lot shortly after noon. A group of engineering students were waiting for them, but the red carpet and silly string and competition swag and applause were for seven special students.

Devin Allaman, Zac Cook, Logan Dietz, Alyssa Pfeifer, Payton Stropes, Cole Marker and Jordan Vahrenberg learned Thursday that they are among 20 finalists for Burns and McDonnell’s annual Battle of the Brains STEM competition.

During the competition, student teams compete in either elementary or secondary divisions to design an exhibit concept for Union Station’s Science City. Ten elementary and ten secondary proposals make up the top 20. After that, entries are evaluated against each other regardless of division. This year’s STA team and their “Beyond the Rainbow” concept beat out more than 800 other entries to make the Top 20. Their team was supported by primary coach and STA instructor Hope MacKenzie and co-leads Leann Beabout Adams and Eric Walters.

As a Top 20 finalist, the team earned a $2,500 grant for STA. If they go on to win the competition, they receive a $55,000 grant and the opportunity to build their exhibit with the Burns & McDonnell team.

But to win, they need community support. While competition judges have already determined 70 percent of the team scores that have landed participants int he top 20, public votes determined the remaining 30 percent, and ultimately which team is deemed the champion. The voting window begins Nov. 15 and ends on Nov. 22.

Stay tuned for more information about how to support STA’s campaign and its Top 20 idea.

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