Coming face-to-face with a giant humpback whale. Darting between the stinging tentacles of a jelly fish. Climbing up a wall of sea coral.
These are just some of the features a team of Merriam Park Elementary students envision for a new exhibit at Science City in Union Station. And their creative approach to providing an educational experience about life in the sea has earned them a spot among the finalists in this year’s Battle of the Brains competition.
Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell, the annual STEM challenge asks area students to come up with ideas for Science City exhibits. Student teams are competing for $155,000 in grant money to fund science, technology, engineering and math programs in their schools. And the winning team will have its exhibit constructed at Science City.
The Merriam Park students found out last week that their exhibit concept, “Journey to the Abyss,” was among just 20 proposals selected as finalists from among the 800 entries this year. Here’s a video summarizing their vision for the undersea-exploration exhibit:
Merriam Park was the only Shawnee Mission school to make the finalists list.
The contest has now moved to the voting phase, where area residents can show their support for the exhibit they’d like to see built. People are able to cast one vote every 24 hours through Nov. 24. You can vote for the Merriam Park project here.