Kansas City Current and East High School open new STEM Lab in Partnership with Bank of America and CPKC Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current and East High School open new STEM Lab in Partnership with Bank of America and CPKC

The Kansas City Current and East High School opened a new STEM Lab for students today, as part of their multi-year commitment to building out STEM programming, in partnership with CPKC and Bank of America. The classroom will allow students access to 3D printers, laptops and other technology to advance their skills in science, technology, engineering and math.  

“Diversity, equity and inclusion is at the core of our foundation as a club,” said Kansas City Current Vice President of Community Relations Ben Aken. “Ensuring equitable opportunities for everyone to participate and succeed in competition both on and off the pitch is a major goal for us. We hope our support for the STEM Lab and other programs can do more than just aid these East High School students – we want to encourage them to follow their dreams and show them that anything is possible.” 

East High School, a Title I school and the biggest high school in Kansas City is located just four miles from CPKC Stadium. More than 40 languages are spoken at East, representing students from 42 countries and making it one of the most diverse schools in the metro area.  

The renovations to the STEM Lab include new ceiling tiles, newly installed lighting, demolition and replacement of old flooring and fresh paint completed by Monarch Build, a local female-owned construction firm. Custom furniture was also installed by Freedom Interiors, selected in collaboration with East High School students. East was also able to secure new laptops through a district grant.  

“This STEM Lab is a tangible representation of our dedication to providing real-world, hands-on education,” said Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier. “It is a space where ideas will come to life, where students will grapple with complex problems and where the seeds of future innovation will be sown. This is an incredibly meaningful occasion for KCPS, East High School, our staff and our students. This is a celebration of progress, innovation and our commitment to providing transformative education for our students.” 

As part of the project, a group of East High School physics students also participated in a unique event with KC Current players. The group visited the National World War I Museum and Memorial for a special tour of the newest exhibition, Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics.  

The event culminated with the students teaming up with Elizabeth Ball, Kristen Hamilton, Cece Kizer, Lo LaBonta, Hailie Mace and Mallory Weber to build prosthetic hands provided by Odyssey Teams. Through this program, over 70,000 prosthetic hands have been funded, built and donated to recipients in more than 90 countries. East High School students will continue to build hands as part of the class curriculum in the new STEM Lab.  

“The Build a Hand event was such an eye-opening and humbling experience,” said Kansas City Current defender Hailie Mace. “It not only brought to my attention the incredible progress made in prosthetics, but we were also given the opportunity to actively participate in making a positive impact on someone else's life; building a prosthetic. I am so grateful to have been a part of such an incredible event.” 

As the team prepares to kick off the first match at CPKC Stadium in March, the Current has made an effort to target community outreach in the areas around the stadium. At East High School, the team has supported students through multiple programs, including the boys soccer team that won the school’s first Missouri state title earlier this year.  

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