Whitefield Academy Blog

Whitefield Lego Team Helps With New KC Airport

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Education, Elementary School, Extracurriculars, Kansas City, Technology, Uncategorized | 3 comments

During the fall of 2019, approximately 300 Robotic teams competed throughout the Kansas City metro area, and the top 44 teams competed in January 2020 for the chance to go to Houston, TX for the World Competition. The Whitefield Lions Robotic Team earned a spot as a top 44 team and competed with the best of the best in the KC area.

This global competition is put on by FIRST LEGO League where students are challenged and engaged in hands-on STEM experiences. The foundation of the program is based on FIRST Core Values, which emphasizes teamwork, discovery, and innovation. The program is built around theme-based real-world challenges to engage children in research, problem-solving, coding and engineering. The competitions last all day with the morning portion consisting of three judging areas (research, core values, and robotic mechanics, design and performance) and the afternoon portion consisting of running the robots on programmed missions.

The Whitefield Lions took the top award in Research at one of the city’s qualifying events, having started their research in August of 2019.  The idea they came up with was a Smart People Mover (SPM) for the new Kansas City airport. Unlike any other people mover, this has multiple sized cars on separate tracks and picks travellers up in the parking lot and shoots them straight to their airline check-in (handicap accessible too).   Five months later, in December 2019, the Deputy Director of Aviation requested that a feasibility study be prepared for an automated people mover at the Kansas City airport, just what our kids had been working on! (Kansas City Star – Dec 27, 2019)

The Whitefield Lions then invited the Sr. Development Manager from Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate (developer for the new KC airport) to our meeting. The students shared their research Idea with him so he could share with those working on the feasibility study.  They also asked several questions to help further develop their idea.  Then he connected us with the Deputy of Aviation who attended our next meeting and invited the team to present at a local Kansas City, Missouri City Council meeting!

How exciting that a group of seven students (mainly 4th & 5th graders and one 8th grader) developed an idea that could be used in real life!  PRETTY AMAZING!!!!
We are so proud of these kids and all they have accomplished!  It was an honor to win the Research award at the KC Qualifier, beat their own team-best record in the Robotics heat, and see how their idea could be implemented in the future!


  1. Shirlene M Kazmaier

    That is the coolest thing!! Way to go WA students!! 🙂

  2. Eva Angell

    What an opportunity for these young minds! Keep up the good work Whitfield Academy!

  3. Quentin Johnston

    Well done, Team. I loved being there during your competition. You have worked hard. I wonder what you will accomplish next year?


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