Students’ proposal will become Science City exhibit by next spring
A team of nine students from Mason Elementary are seeing their dream become reality this fall after winning Burns & McDonnell’s Battle of the Brains during November 2015. The students, who are enrolled in Jenny Reidlinger’s gifted class, won the grand prize for their entry, called “Not-So-Simple Simple Machines Playground.”
As grand-prize winners, the students won $50,000 for their school and are having their proposal transformed into a million-dollar outdoor exhibit at Kansas City’s Science City, located at Union Station. The Mason proposal features an exciting exploration of simple and compound machines such as a tornado slide that looks like a giant screw, a pulley-powered zip line seat, a climbing wedge and a giant ball that an entire family can fit inside of and be lifted with a lever. Visitors will test physics on seesaws and explore effort and resistance force with different levers.
Students developing the proposal included Zyza Cooley, Ben Guthrie, Paden Cole, Myah Frashier, Eden Wheeler, Selah Wheeler, Bella Washburn, Julia Washburn and Reagan Parker.
The Mason students are meeting monthly with a variety of professionals working on the project team, including engineers, architects, graphic designers, the construction manager and Science City site manager. The students are collaborating on everything to color pallets to playground layout to logos. Concrete work on the project began in October with the goal to have the fence, a bridge and landscaping complete before the first hard freeze. Opening date is scheduled for April 2017.
More than 5,300 students from 210 schools submitted 520 entries to the 2015 Battle of the Brains, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition open to schools throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Mason students learned they had won the grand prize at a Nov. 18, 2016, ceremony at Union Station.