The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Voyagers students participate in this year’s Battle of the Brains competition

Students in the school’s gifted program are working hard to finish their proposals for the Burns and McDonnell run competition
Participating+in+Battle+of+the+Brains%2C+sophomores+Ian+Weatherman+and+Carson+Schmidtlein+work+on+their+new+exhibit+Friday%2C+Oct.13.
By Eva Hernandez
Participating in Battle of the Brains, sophomores Ian Weatherman and Carson Schmidtlein work on their new exhibit Friday, Oct.13.

Twelve members of the school’s gifted program are currently participating in the Burns and McDonnell Battle of the Brains competition. The competition challenges groups from schools K-12 to propose a new exhibit for Science City every other year. 

Students brainstorm and propose ideas, the winning proposal gets built as an exhibit at Science City. Sophomore Ian Weatherman explains the benefits of designing a proposal.  

“It’s really nice to try to design something that has the potential of actually being created. If you win, your idea can actually be put out into the world and that’s cool,” Weatherman said.

It’s really nice to try to design something that has the potential of actually being created. If you win, your idea can actually be put out into the world and that’s cool.

— Sophomore Ian Weatherman

Any group from the Kansas City metro area can participate. Typically in the De Soto district, Voyagers groups are the ones who compete.

Groups work for months on their proposals, planning starts in August and groups submit final proposals Nov. 9. The finalists are announced Dec. 7.

The last winners’ proposal was just installed in Science City. It was an exhibit about robots designed by Raytown’s gifted program. Other exhibits such as Every Last Drop and Unlock the Code were also designed through Battle of the Brains. Each winning team wins $50,000 in grant money for their proposal. Brown explains the prize.

“They spend like a million dollars writing it and making it [an exhibit], then the school wins a pretty substantial prize to be used for technology.” Brown said. 

Students have to follow certain guidelines for their proposals. Including creating six separate elements that would be included in the exhibit accompanied by designs and written descriptions of them.      

According to gifted facilitator Michele Brown, Voyagers students are working hard to get their proposals done. 

“For the students [it is] a lot of planning and creativity,” Brown said. “We went to Science City and saw the new exhibits from past years.” 

Through Battle of the Brains, students are able to design, plan and problem solve in a way that differs from most school projects. Sophomore Grant Kuchynka enjoys getting to work with classmates to create something unique. 

“Working with other people, doing something new that could eventually come to fruition if it’s good enough, it’s fun,” Kuchynka said. 

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About the Contributors
Maddie Martin
Maddie Martin, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Maddie Martin’s first year on the JagWire staff. She is looking forward to writing and taking pictures for the JagWire. She is on the golf team and is a part of Relay for Life. Outside of school she volunteers with National Charity League. She spends her free time hanging out with her friends and family, listening to music and watching sports.  
Quin Peters
Quin Peters, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Quin Peters’ first year on the JagWire staff. She will be exploring the roles of writer and designer for the newspaper this year. Outside of school, Quin crochets, reads, writes creatively and is involved in art. Quin is a member of several clubs at the school, including National Art Honor Society, Youth for Refugees, Women’s Empowerment, Scholars Bowl, Creative Writing Club and Model UN.
Eva Hernandez
Eva Hernandez, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Eva Hernandez’s first year on the JagWire staff. This year she will be learning the roles of a writer and photographer. Eva enjoys longboarding around her neighborhood and likes to play sports like flag football, soccer and basketball and she loves to bake for her friends. Eva also enjoys watching scary movies and shopping for shoes. Eva is involved in Relay for Life and would like to join more things as the school year goes on.

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