MRIGlobal is excited to be part of a team supporting a local non-profit organization serving high school students in urban Kansas City as it launches a new STEM education initiative.
Operation Breakthrough is the largest single site early childhood center and daycare in Missouri. Serving more than 700 children, ages 6 weeks to 14 years, and their families each weekday, the agency’s mission is to provide a safe, loving and educational environment for children in urban Kansas City and empower their families through advocacy, emergency aid, and education. Eighty percent of enrolled families live on less than $12,000 annually, 20% are homeless, and 65% of the children have experienced trauma or have witnessed violence by age 5.
Operation Breakthrough helps these children overcome and succeed, in part, through its focus on educational programming. More than 90% of the 5 year-olds test “school ready” each year, as compared with fewer than 50% of children in poverty nationally. For children ages 5-14, Operation Breakthrough provides STEM education opportunities through its MakerSpace and MakerCity STEM spaces, promoting hands-on collaborative learning in the arts, electrical, robotics, construction, culinary arts, multimedia, automotive and engineering, and green tech.
In 2015, the Eighty-Seven & Running Foundation was established to mentor, train, motivate, and provide opportunities to underprivileged youth. Founder Travis Kelce, jersey number 87 and tight end for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, volunteered with Operation Breakthrough and was inspired to make a difference in the lives of these children. He purchased a former muffler shop located adjacent to Operation Breakthrough and devised the plans to create Ignition Lab. Watch Travis Kelce explain the Ignition Lab at Operation Breakthrough in his own words.
In September 2021, Operation Breakthrough launched its new Ignition Lab, offering high school students real world learning in STEM education. The program is designed to build students’ skills in coding, circuitry, culinary arts, construction and design, digital media, robotics, visual art, and more.
In a partnership with Eighty-Seven & Running, Sun Partners International, JE Dunn Construction, Rising Sun Solar, and Black & Veatch, MRIGlobal donated 40 KW of solar panels that power Ignition Lab.
The solar panels from MRIGlobal are installed on the roof and, with ample sunshine, will provide all the energy needed for Ignition Lab.
The Ignition Lab, in turn, will help energize Operation Breakthrough’s high school students to develop to their fullest potential.