KC MADE Winners Build Skills for Future Careers
Six high schools competed in the second annual KC Manufacturing and Design Expo (KC MADE) competition at the 2018 Kansas City Home Show March 23-25.
The contest showcases the talents of local students through a variety of woodworking and mixed wood/metalwork projects. It also gives students an opportunity to push themselves beyond traditional shop class projects while offering practical vocational experience. The goal of KC MADE is to promote careers in the skilled trades and the development of soft skills while also connecting community to industry.
“I’d like to go into this as a career. I really have a passion for woodworking and welding, so this would be something I could do my whole life and be happy,” said Brody Johnston, a Shawnee Mission West sophomore who took 3rd Place Overall for his cedar and steel desk.
The projects challenged students like Bonner Springs High School junior Zane Deleon. Judges recognized his kitchen table with pecan top and walnut legs for excellence in the wood-only category but Zane explains that the project was far more difficult than expected.
“It was a crazy struggle getting the legs balanced,” Deleon said. “But this was a really fun experience and a great program.”
Jacob Kunz, a junior at Shawnee Mission West High School, agreed that the contest was rewarding. Kunz took 2nd Place Overall for his coat rack and bench demonstrating his skills in woodwork and welding; Kunz incorporated railroad spikes into the design as coat hooks adding to the aesthetic appeal.
“The bench involved a lot of live edge work, but with the help of my teacher we got it made,” Kunz said. “I look forward to competing again next year.”
Top honors went to Lee’s Summit High School Senior Anthony Mixon for his Kona wood desk. Judges awarded the project 1st Place Overall, and the desk won the People’s Choice Award which was voted on by the Greater Kansas City Home Show attendees.
The KC MADE event successfully concluded with a networking luncheon in which the students had the opportunity to speak and eat lunch with 20 companies that are a part of the home-building industry.
The schools that participated in this year’s competition were Basehor/Linwood, Bonner Springs High School, Lee’s Summit High School, Northland Career Center, Shawnee Mission West and Chester Lewis Academy in Wichita.
Thank you to everyone who participated and we look forward to seeing you again at next year’s Greater Kansas City Home Show KC Manufacturing and Design Expo!