Students, teachers thrilled after Grandview school’s program wins Battle of the Brains and $50,000

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The celebration for the Grandview CAIR FOCUS Program was matched only by its accomplishment when they beat more than 250 schools and 820 submissions to claim this year’s Burns and McDonnell Battle of the Brains competition.

“I was just really happy that we won first place and that we got together to be able to do this stuff,” student Rhiamia Jones said

“Once they zoomed into our sign on the big screen, I just automatically knew we were going to win,” Jordan Sanders said.

“It was really special because I like working with other people because I’m really good at teamwork,” student Micah Rainey said.

The group of 16 elementary school students created a two-story, interactive brain. It will soon be brought to life in the form of a $1,000,000 exhibit that will be developed and built at Science City. The students also won a $50,000 grand prize for their school.

“Really excited because we put all of our creativity and imagination into this, and now we get to see it in reality and actually build it,” said Annalise Long, a Grandview student.

“I'm really thrilled about the $50,000, but I'm more thrilled about the opportunity the kids have to build their exhibit and to stand underneath it 10 years from now and see what they did," teacher Vicki Adams said.

Some students already know what they are going to do with the prize money.

“We're going to get a Mac Lab and stuff like that," Jones said. "We really have a whole bunch of stuff because our computers are outdated so we're going to get a MacBook Lab to make it more better."

It’s an accomplishment that these youngsters were proud to share with their family and, more importantly, their peers.

“It was exciting because all of our friends and stuff were able to put all of our creativity and imagination together and make even something better,” Long said.

The top five entries were:

  • $10,000 – “Math Mania,” Alexander Doniphan Elementary, Liberty School District
  • $15,000 – “City of Lights,” Tonganoxie High School, Tonganoxie School District
  • $20,000 – “The Magic of Magnets,” Olathe East High School, Olathe School District
  • $25,000 – “Magical Me,” Cordill-Mason Elementary, Blue Springs School District
  • $50,000 – “The Big Brain Theory,” CAIR FOCUS Program, Grandview School District