Students Invited to Enter Next Great Idea Competition

Next Great Idea archive photos and R&D logo
Shawnee Mission School District

Spring 2022 is the 60th year of the Shawnee Mission School District’s Research and Development (R&D) Forum. This year's forum will take place at the Center for Academic Achievement, and will feature a Student Showcase and a live-streamed Pitch Finals competition.

Pitch Finals Competition

For a second year, a pitch competition for student innovators will be offered as part of the district’s annual R&D Forum. Not only can students win cash prizes for their Next Great Idea, but they can also receive additional funding to advance their idea.

Who can enter: Any interested student, grades K-12

How to apply: Application information can be found on the R&D webpage. The deadline to apply for the pitch competition is Friday, February 25, 2022. Practice sessions with industry mentors will be scheduled for students who apply to compete.

Final Competition and Prizes:

Applicants chosen as finalists will pitch their Next Great Idea to a panel of judges during the morning of April 30, 2022 at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St. The pitch competition will be live-streamed so friends and family can participate as well. Top awards are $2,500, of which $1,000 is a cash award to be used by the winner to pursue their passion and education, and up to $1,500 will be awarded as "build it" grants to support making the winner's pitch a reality. A People's Choice category, determined by public voters, will be awarded a $500 prize. There will also be an Idea of Promise award with a prize of $500.

Student Showcase

The R&D Forum student showcase, with display-only and competitive exhibits, will be held in Spring 2022.  Students, families, and staff members are encouraged to enter student-created projects, experiments, or art projects to share in this district-wide event. All submissions must be registered and information on how to register can be found online. The deadline to register for the showcase is Friday, March 25, 2022. The Live Pitch competition is scheduled for April 30, 2022.

The SMSD community is invited to take part in this year’s 60th R&D Forum by attending the following events at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St.

 April 30, 2022 

-Finalists will present their Next Great Idea to a panel of judges
-Public Voting to follow presentations

-Awards ceremony for Showcase Entries, Regnier Award winners, and the Next Great Idea Pitch Competition award winners

About the R&D Forum

The Shawnee Mission Research and Development Forum celebrates its 60th year in 2022. It is one of the SMSD’s biggest showcases of the year!

This annual event has always served as a celebration of student achievement and highlights innovative student projects and talent from across the district.

Sincere appreciation is extended to the Regnier Family for 60 years of generous support for the SMSD R&D Forum.

Click here for more information and contacts if you have further questions.

Next Great Idea archive photos and R&D logo