KC Urban Advantage

We give underserved students the tools to break the cycle of poverty and become innovators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

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The purpose of KC Urban Advantage (KCUA) is to help break the cycle of poverty in Kansas City by increasing confidence and ability in academic achievement for underserved students. Our mission is to provide access to holistic STEAM education and unlock opportunities for higher learning and future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.

With much gratitude to our KC Urban Advantage Founding Donors:

The Black & Veatch Foundation, the Sosland Foundation, the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, the G. Kenneth and Ann Baum Philanthropic Fund and the Ronald D. Deffenbaugh Foundation.

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KCUA Snapshot

Over 4,000 underserved students from 9 schools participated between 2016-18. 2 new schools were added in 2018, and an additional school was added in January of 2019 for a current total of 10 schools.

KC Urban Advantage hosts ALL GRADE LEVELS from each participating school. Over 300 KCUA families have returned free of charge to visit the MAP with their children.

5 YEAR GOAL: Provide access for at least 25 underserved schools along with their students, educators, families and care givers.

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KCUA provides students and educators at underserved, resource-scarce schools with free, holistic STEM education experiences. KCUA provides a half-day trip to the MAP or its KCUA partner institutions—transportation and lunch are included for every grade level. Each trip features a tour of current exhibitions followed by hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences and classroom resources for teachers. Full-day options are also available. All students receive a free Friends and Family Pass to return to the MAP and its partner institutions any time. Resources and FREE trips are available for both Missouri and Kansas Schools.


The MAP administrates and funds the development and implementation of KC Urban Advantage (KCUA). This includes programming, resources, and partnerships to provide comprehensive, ongoing, world-class STEAM experiences for underserved students with the purpose of increasing their confidence and ability in academic achievement and future STEM career opportunities.

It’s crucial to start early. "If you're thinking about stem education, whether it's women or underrepresented minorities, you really have to be thinking about it from cradle to college. By the time they hit kindergarten, many of them are already behind. There is leakage in every step of the pipeline so you have to have programs at every step of the pipeline." Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington.


Learn more.

Want to learn more about KC Urban Advantage? Visit kcurbanadvantage.org and schedule a visit to see KC Urban Advantage in action!



If you are interested in becoming a KCUA School, Donor or Education Partner please contact us:

KCUA Program Information:

Tim Shaban

(913) 333-3551

Support KCUA:

Terri Thompson

(913) 333-3503