Highlands students vying for Burns & McDonnell ‘Battle of the Brains’ title, ask NEJC residents for voting support


A group of northeast Johnson County elementary students are hoping area residents can help them bring home $50,000 in grant money to help fund education programs.

Highlands Elementary, which pulls students from Mission, Prairie Village and Fairway, was named a finalist in Burns & McDonnell’s annual “Battle of the Brains” competition. The competition tasks students with designing and building a new display for Science City at Union Station. Highlands exhibit, titled “Uniquely Kansas City” made the list of 20 finalists. Reaching that level guarantees the school at least $2,500 in grant money. But if they earn one of the two runner up spots, they’ll double their grant funding to $5,000. And if they win the elementary division, they’ll earn $50,000.

“That is a mighty big carrot dangling in front of us,” said sixth grade teacher Mike Torkelson.

The grand prizes are determined in part by public voting, so Highlands is asking area residents to take a moment to make their voices heard.

Here’s some information Torkelson put together about how to vote:

ANYONE with a valid email can vote ONCE PER DAY from Nov. 7th – 14th.

Visit botbkc.com to cast your vote for Highlands Elementary and our entry: UNIQUELY KANSAS CITY!

Thirty percent of the final selection in the Battle of the Brains will be determined by public vote. That’s a real opportunity to make a difference! Again, each email address can vote once every 24 hours.

Social media can make a BIG difference in your ability to influence votes!

Facebook: Post frequent updates on Facebook encouraging others to vote for HIGHLANDS Elementary. Please encourage family, friends, and enemies to do the same.

Twitter: Post a link to the voting site (tag @BOTBKC) and ask your Twitter followers to vote for our entry!

Instagram: Post a photo, tag @BurnsMcDonnell and use hashtag #BOTBKC asking your Instagram followers to vote for our entry.

Here’s a look at the exhibit proposal the students put together: