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USD 232 Dominates Engineering Design Competition

Logo for KC STEM Alliance  Project Lead The Way logo

The KC STEM Alliance has announced the top finishers in the Project Lead The Way-KC Engineering Design Competition, which recognizes excellence in engineering among students enrolled in senior capstone courses.

Competition participants submit projects online using the Innovation Portal, a free, open, and secure tool for design and problem-solving works. Practicing industry professionals then judge student works, evaluating how the projects illustrate students’ design-thinking and problem-solving capabilities. 

This year’s Engineering Design Competition included a field of 85 projects from 171 PLTW Engineering students.

Engineering Design Competition

The Kansas City Engineering Design Competition drew 85 projects from 171 students. Winning first place and a $2,500 scholarship was Brandon Higgins of De Soto High School for his Rebar Chairs project, which improves the efficiency of integrating rebar into concrete pavement.

Winning third place and a $1,000 team prize for traffic improvements was the Mill Valley High School team comprised of Seth Hobson, Zach Steiger, Branden Webb and Ryan Williams.

The full list of Engineering Design Competition projects and teams scoring in the Top 10*.
* 11 teams recognized due to ties                                                           

  • 1st – Rebar Chairs – De Soto High School: Brandon Higgins – Teacher is Miranda Young
  • 2nd – KinderProof Pill Bottle Lock – Shawnee Mission South
  • 3rd – Western Shawnee USD 232 Traffic Improvement – Mill Valley High School: Seth Hobson, Zach Steiger, Branden Webb, Ryan Williams – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux

Rounding out the Top 10             

  • Regiment Backpack – Blue Springs High School
  • Cool Aide – Mill Valley High School: Kaden Beck, Libby Mullican, Johannes Seberger – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux
  • Paddle Assistive Device – Mill Valley High School: McKenna Elliott, Katya Gillig, Colin Prosser – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux
  • Breaking the Sedentary Cycle – Mill Valley High School: Jonathon Chieu, Brian Parks – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux
  • Airplane Lavatory Efficiency – Mill Valley High School: Aniston Cumbie, Harry Ahrenholtz, Matthew Reichle, Andrew Thomas – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux
  • Bike Theft Prevention – Mill Valley High School: Jack Edwards, Will Hecht, Andrew Lewis, Andrew Varquez – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux
  • Titanium Cranium – Summit Technology Academy           
  • Gas Can Ventilation – Liberty North High School

Innovator Awards Competition

DHS and MVHS captured three of eleven Innovator Awards, which were judged and announced during the PLTW Senior High School Showcase on April 23 at Union Station. Seventy-five teams were nominated by their teachers to take part in this competition, designed to recognize innovation and marketability of projects in the showcase. Nearly 50 “guest investors” from the business, academic and entrepreneurial fields heard students pitch their innovations and determined the winners by investing “Commerce bucks” in the projects they deemed to have the most innovation and market potential.

The USD 232 winning projects for Innovator Awards:

  • Airplane Lavatory Efficiency – Mill Valley High School: Aniston Cumbie, Harry Ahrenholtz, Matthew Reichle, Andrew Thomas – Teacher is Gayle Kebodeaux
  • Health Solutions for Individuals with Poor Mobility – De Soto High School: Sam Hubert, Aydan VanMeerhaeghe, Peter Nguyen – Teacher is Miranda Young
  • Police Drone – De Soto High School: Matthew Lingner – Teacher is Miranda Young

DHS Team Lead the Way

De Soto High School


MVHS Team Lead the Way

Mill Valley High School