Tonganoxie Middle School among 20 finalists in Battle of the Brains

Tonganoxie Middle School will try to land a finalist in the 2019 Battle of the Brains. Enlarge photo

November 20, 2019

Tonganoxie Middle School is a finalist in the 2019 Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains, but it needs help from online voters to advance to the next round.

TMS is one of 20 schools selected as finalists this past week.

Online voters can pick their favorite proposal through this Friday. Anyone with a valid email address can vote daily.

The online voting counts for 30 percent of the final selection of the winning projects.

Anyone interested in voting for TMS can cast their vote at

The TMS proposal is called “Step Right Up” and is designed to help youths learn about science by playing carnival games.

Per the TMS description, carnival games use science, math, engineering and technology concepts to provide entertainment to folks of all ages.

The TMS team was inspired to develop this exhibit after visiting Science City’s latest “Amazing Brain” exhibit, according to descriptions on the TMS voting page.

The bright lights and games made them think of the carnival games that are at the county fair each summer.

TMS students considered other exhibit ideas, such as adding life-size dinosaurs to the current dinosaur exhibit at Science City, building an escape room and an exhibit involving forensic science, but students decided some aspects of their ideas might not be age appropriate for all who have the opportunity to enjoy the exhibit.

The TMS group then decided on the carnival idea because it is a fun and engaging way to learn about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Their exhibit proposal has a milk jug game, Skee Ball, ring toss, dunk tank and basketball game, to name a few.

As part of the proposal, the students put together a list of anticipated expenses.

Total estimated costs for the project is just more than $194,000, as students had to provide line-item expenses as part of their proposal.

TMS has a shot at a portion of more than $155,000 in grants for STEM education. Workers will create the winning exhibit proposal at Science City.

Battle of the Brains has benefited nearly 20,000 students in 55 school districts, according to the competition’s website.

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