Sporting KC welcomes Make48 winners from Willow Springs HS to Children’s Mercy Park for home opener


Last month, seven teams of high school students from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) classrooms across Missouri competed in a 48-hour innovation competition sponsored by Sporting Kansas City on the campus of The University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The triumphant team in the 'Stadium Experience' themed challenge came from Willow Springs High School – four hours south of Kansas City – to earn the top honor of Best Innovation and won a berth at Nationals this November as well as a $2,000 reward.

In addition, Sporting Kansas City treated the team to a special matchday experience at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday for the club’s home opener. The group – comprised of Business Education Teacher Sabrina Lee along with students Madalyn Poor, Nolan Perkins and Seth Wake – received a behind-the-scenes stadium tour and field-side access during pre-match warm-ups.

“It was great to have the experience come full circle for the group,” said Sporting Kansas City Community Impact Manager Maigan Bridgette. “During the competition, we talked a lot about how and why decisions are made for the fan experience. By being able to show and explain several of the new upgrades, the students were able to directly connect the conversations from the competition and experience our stadium up close and in person. It was fun to witness their first reactions and see the excitement and intrigue from the students!”


Throughout the Make48 competition, teams were tasked with conceiving a brand-new idea, crafting a physical prototype with the assistance of tool techs and presenting their innovation through a one-minute marketing video and a concise sales sheet. The journey of these young innovators was captured on film, set to be showcased in the upcoming eighth season of Make48 with the release of two episodes on  later this year.