SMSD News: You are invited to the SMSD R&D forum

In this article:

  • R&D Open House Schedules – events open to the entire      
      community!
  • Watch the Next Great Idea pitch competition on April 30, 2022
  • Checking in with 2021 Next Great Idea winners

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) Research and Development Forum! The entire community is invited to this event.

The R&D Forum features student projects in science, technology, engineering, arts, and career and technical education and is a wonderful way to see the accomplishments of SMSD students and staff. We extend our sincere appreciation to the Regnier Family for 60 years of generous support for the SMSD R&D Forum.

 Save the dates!

Our community is invited to see the talent and accomplishments of SMSD students and staff at this year’s R&D Forum Student Showcase. Save the date for the following events!

Middle and High School Art Showcase
Open House at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), 8200 W. 71st St.

  • 3 to 5 p.m. on April 18-20, 2022
  • 4 to 7 p.m. on April 21, 2022 (includes reception for students)

All Grades Science Showcase
Open House at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), 8200 W. 71st St.

  • 3 to 5 p.m. on April 18-20, 2022
  • 4 to 7 p.m. on April 21, 2022 (includes reception for students

Elementary Art Showcase
Open House at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), 8200 W. 71st St.

  • 3 to 5 p.m. on April 25-27, 2022
  • 4 to 7 p.m. on April 28, 2022 (includes reception for students)

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Showcase
Open House at the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), 8200 W. 71st St.

  • 3 to 5 p.m. on April 25-27, 2022
  • 4 to 7 p.m. on April 28, 2022 (includes reception for students)

Click here for more information on the R&D Forum.

 Next Great Idea Pitch Competition – April 30, 2022

The Next Great Idea pitch competition gives student innovators an opportunity to pitch an idea to judges for a chance to win cash prizes and money to advance their competition entry.

The pitch competition will be live-streamed so friends and family can participate as well. Visit www.smsd.org on April 30, 2022, for a link to watch the event and to cast your live vote. Finalists will present their pitches live from 9-11:30 am. 

A People’s Choice category, determined by public voters, will be awarded a $500 prize. Online voting will occur immediately following the final pitch presentation for a designated time frame.

2021 Next Great Idea Winners 

Students named winners in the inaugural next Great Idea Pitch Competition are turning their ideas into reality. 

Alex Blickhan, Shawnee Mission East Senior

Blickhan was named a winner with a $2,500 prize for his “Desalination Operation” pitch. His idea helps address water shortages with an invention to purify ocean water with zero energy input. Since the competition, he has created several design iterations for his invention.

“This has been a valuable opportunity,” Blickhan said. “So many students have great ideas, but can’t fund them because they are in school and don’t have jobs. This gives them a chance.”  

Nathan Mestel, Westridge Middle School Eighth-grader

Mestel won with his “Milk of Human Kindness” pitch to address food waste. Since winning a $2,500 prize last spring he has developed his idea into a Limited Liability Company (LLC). He will be sharing the results of his work at the Lenexa Farmers Market this spring. 

“I wasn’t expecting to win anything when I first entered the competition,” Mestel shared. “Knowing I had the ability to gain funding and build my idea was a shock. It’s been a wonderful opportunity.”