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Ruskin Student Earns Make It Real Scholarship While Showcasing Innovative Projects at Kansas City’s Union Station

Yuridia Abrego presenting her Capstone PLTW ProjectOn April 23, Kansas City’s Union Station buzzed with excitement as 350 students from 40 schools gathered to present their Project Lead The Way (PLTW) senior capstone projects in engineering and biomedical sciences. The event showcased various innovative solutions addressing real-world problems, highlighting these young minds’ creativity and technical skills.

Make It Real Scholarship FinalistsOver 200 professionals from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) generously volunteered their time as judges and evaluators. Their invaluable expertise not only added significant value to the event but also fostered a sense of collaboration within the STEM community. They provided students with constructive feedback and recognized exceptional projects through awards and scholarships.

A thrilling moment at the PLTW Senior Showcase was the announcement of the finalists for the Make It Real Scholarship and the Innovator Awards. The Innovator Award, a celebration of the innovativeness and marketability of projects, was coordinated by KC STEM Alliance’s partner, Startland Education. The winners were revealed in a suspenseful manner, with the Startland team and Commerce Bank, the competition’s sponsor, making roving announcements, adding an element of excitement to the event.

Ruskin High School’s Yuridia Abrego earned the 2023-2024 Make It Real Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship is awarded to students who submit a video or essay reflecting on their four-year journey with PLTW courses and their culminating capstone project. Winners can use the scholarship to further their education or advance their projects. Yuridia’s project, DefenDOOR, is a school safety product designed to protect against intruders, demonstrating her commitment to creating practical solutions for critical issues.

The PLTW Senior Showcase not only celebrated these students’ hard work and achievements but also underscored the importance of STEM education in preparing the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers.



Photos by Charles Maples.