R&D Forum Showcases Student Talent

 R&D Forum Showcases Student Talent
Shawnee Mission School District

The 60th annual Research and Development forum put Shawnee Mission student talent in the spotlight for the entire community this week.

On Thursday, April 21, students, educators, family, and community members gathered for a reception to honor all participants of the first week of the R&D Forum Student Showcase. Throughout the week, the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) was open to the community to see middle and high school art projects and science projects from all grade levels. The CAA was filled with display boards with projects outlining scientific findings. The showcase featured paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and a variety of other artworks.

Reception attendees were also treated to musical performances by Shawanoe second-graders under the direction of music teacher Beth Nichol. Mill Creek’s fifth and sixth grade choir, under the direction of Aimee Hirsh, shared songs with the attendees.

Westridge Middle School eighth grader Elizabeth Barnes showcased her science project at the forum. She studied the lung capacity of students who play different instruments in band. The forum was a helpful way to work on presentation skills, she noted.

“It feels really great to be a part of the forum because I put a lot of hard work into this project,” Barnes added. “It feels great to accomplish something!”

This forum marked the first in-person art show for Shawnee Mission North sophomore Noah Panjada, who hopes to pursue a future in the art field someday. The forum featured a scratch board drawing, a jacket, and a mobile he created. 

“I feel so glad and thankful and I’m very proud of how far I have come as an artist,” Panjada shared. “I can’t wait to see how far I can grow.”

Panjada said he enjoyed the opportunity to see submissions from student artists across our community.

“It’s great to see so many perspectives coming from students in this community,” he added.

Jordyn Sautter, eighth-grader at Indian Woods and Marlee Ware, an eighth-grader from Indian Woods had artworks on display and came to see them at the Open House.

Ware says having art on display makes her a stronger artist. In the classroom, she and her peers regularly share their artwork and listen to each other’s suggestions.

“I like to have more points of view,” Ware said. “It makes me think on what I could focus on or try next.”

The Student Showcase was a new, but helpful experience for Sautter.

“Normally I hide myself in my sketchbooks, so it is cool to be here to see my artwork out for other people to see,” Sautter shared. “I’ll probably do more art classes and draw a lot more over the summer to be better next year.”

The Shawnee Mission Research and Development Forum continues with another Student Showcase and The Next Great Idea competition.

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)

 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, family, and the community 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.

The SMSD extends sincere appreciation to the Regnier Family for 60 years of generous support for the SMSD R&D Forum.