Inspired by kids, built by Burns & McDonnell. It’s Kansas City’s most exciting K-12 STEM competition — Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains. Metro area schools can earn a grant for STEM education by dreaming up an exhibit concept for Science City — and one student team sees its idea come to life in a big way! It’s a fantastic, no-cost experience for students and teachers — thinking big, exploring new things, collaborating and having fun. So far, more than 30,000 students have benefited from this immersive educational opportunity. Battle of the Brains operates on a two-year cycle: one for competition and one for exhibit build-out. The next competition cycle will take place in 2023.


Congratulations to Raytown Challenge on their 2021 grand-prize winning submission! Their exhibit, Riveting Robots, opened Sep. 19, 2023. Come experience how robotics impact our everyday lives.


The drive to strengthen communities is the heartbeat of Burns & McDonnell, in our work and with the Burns & McDonnell Foundation. We’ve invested more than $8 million in STEM grant programs because, for us, the opportunity to light a spark for STEM in a kid’s life is pretty amazing. Battle of the Brains is the biggest part of that.

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“My students tackled challenges I never dreamed possible. They located resources, learned to ask questions, sought out experts to drive their research and learned phenomenal problem-solving skills. Battle of the Brains is a guaranteed opportunity for students to own their learning!”

Dustin Springer, Merriam Park Elementary

The Partnership

For the employee-owners of Burns & McDonnell and Science City, it’s in our DNA to inspire a passion for STEM in the next generation. Our vision and mission is to encourage these future leaders to push beyond their expectations — to dream big, plan smart and take initiative.

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