Summit Tech teams win Project Lead the Way awards

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

Several teams from Summit Technology Academy recently captured awards in the Project Lead The Way High School Senior Showcase. A total of 379 senior capstone projects were submitted from 33 metro-area schools in the areas of engineering and biomedical sciences.

The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Senior Showcase highlights students completing the PLTW courses, engineering design and development or biomedical innovations. These students have completed up to four PLTW courses during high school, culminating in a senior capstone project. This rigorous project enables them to collaborate with their peers, using the skills and knowledge they have gained to look at solutions for real world problems.

Winning in the engineering category, from Dr. Paul Rutherford’s engineering design and development course was Team 360 Storage consisting of Avery Payne, Connie Wentworth, Kenzie Settle and Jake O’Bryan. They created a device on the wheel of a wheelchair for accessible storage to solve the current problem of lack of adequate storage on a wheelchair. The team received a $2,500 scholarship.

Winning in biomedical sciences, from Peggy Hinzman’s Biomedical Innovations class was Lydia Jefferson. Lydia’s project tested the impact of lead on circulation in zebrafish embryos to learn more about the problem of lead in water adversely affecting human body systems. She will receive a $2,500 college scholarship. Amy Yang and Isabel Baughn won second place and will receive a $1,500 dollar scholarship with their project that studied the correlation between school health policies and disease outbreaks in schools. Their instructor was Dr. Kevin McCormick.

Through the Senior Showcase, three Summit Technology Academy teams placed in the top 10 for the engineering projects and 13 of 14 Summit Tech teams placed in the top 10 (which included several ties) for biomedical science projects. Only the top three of the top 10 in each category earn scholarships, and three Summit Tech teams received scholarships.

The Project Lead the Way Senior Showcase also includes the Innovator Award, recognizing innovativeness and marketability of project ideas. Summit Technology Academy had two engineering teams win this award. Team 360 Storage and Empowered Tent (consisting of Jacob Schnitzlein, James Roy, Alex Wood and Christian Greeff) were each honored with this award.

These winners are invited to attend the summer Make it REAL Workshop over the summer, hosted by local entrepreneurs from KCSourceLink and the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the world of entrepreneurs and product development from these mentors.  

Team 360 pictured from left with Dr. Paul Rutherford are Jacob O’Bryan, Kenzie Settle, Dr. Paul “Doc” Rutherford, Connie Wentworth and Avery Payne.





Empowered Tent pictured with Senior Showcase sponsors (from left) Martha McCabe, executive director of KC STEM Alliance; Jacob Schnitzlein; James Roy; Alex Wood; Christian Greeff; and Mike Moore, IT director, Commerce Bank.




Lydia Jefferson with her project, which was inspired by the Flint, Mich., water crisis.

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