KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Hundreds of Kansas City area educators gathered at Burns & McDonnell for the firm’s fifth annual Educators Summit to provide educators with resources to help inspire a love of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) within their students. Registrations for the event filled within 24 hours.
“Educators tell us hearing directly from STEM professionals can be a game changer,” says Julee Koncak, Foundation director, Burns & McDonnell. “On the flip side, working directly with teachers helps us understand the questions students have around STEM careers. The Educators Summit helps us dive deeper into that discussion. We show them what a STEM career can truly look like. The partnerships we’re forming have been amazing and impactful for everyone.”
Nearly 300 Missouri and Kansas educators — who work in more than 200 public, private and charter schools, as well as at community colleges, universities and early learning centers — registered for this year’s summit. Educators attending the free event heard from professionals working in STEM careers, participating in hands-on demonstrations and panel discussions around securing and empowering the next generation of STEM professionals. They also learned tips on how to increase communication among educators, parents and students.
“I come to the Educators Summit every year because it arms me with fresh resources to create those one-of-a-kind ‘light bulb moments’ with my students,” says Katie Marquart, fourth grade teacher at Chapel Lakes Elementary School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. “Here, I make connections with real STEM professionals who are sharing the critical link between STEM learnings and countless innovations and projects throughout the world. I can’t wait to incorporate all of these new resources into my curriculum this school year!”
Adds Donna Pedersen, engineering and mathematics teacher at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kansas: “I love coming to the Educators Summit! It recharges me for the coming school year. It is so valuable to hear directly from engineers, architects and other STEM professionals on what is going on in the ‘real world’ of engineering and then to be able to share that information with my math and engineering students.”
Burns & McDonnell is committed to working with educators and students to increase interest in STEM education and careers in Kansas City and beyond. According to a recent report from KC Global Design, architecture and engineering firms have added jobs twice as fast in the Greater Kansas City area as in the country overall since 2002.
Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) statistics show that annual wages of STEM-related occupations ($93,199) were twice that of non-STEM annual wages ($46,388) in 2018. According to the latest study by the U.S. Department of Labor, STEM-related employment is projected to grow nearly 11%from 2016-2026, as more than 1 million STEM jobs are expected to be added to the U.S. economy in that decade-long span.
As part of its continued efforts around STEM education, Burns & McDonnell has a robust K-12 outreach program that includes dozens of programs from job shadowing to engineering camps.
The popular K-12 STEM competition, Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains, kicks off this fall. Teams from Kansas City-area schools will compete for a piece of $155,000 in grants by dreaming up an exhibit concept for Science City — with the winning team working with Burns & McDonnell to bring the idea to life as a $1 million project. To learn more, go to BOTBKC.com.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of 7,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned and is proud to be on Fortune’s 2019 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.