A Big IDEA Takes Shape

Welcome to IDEA Space KC, a collaborative center for STEAM education serving students throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Using science, technology, engineering, arts and math as conduits to spark children’s imaginations, IDEA Space seeks to create a bright future for Kansas City’s next generation of innovators.

One of the most valuable end results of STEAM activities is the acquisition of soft skills imperative to a well-rounded education. Through STEAM learning, students of all ages and backgrounds learn to communicate, collaborate, and lead with confidence.

Ryan Weber, President & CEO, KC Tech Council

“What we love about IDEA Space – it is an innovative approach that will provide essential building blocks for our future workforce and offer students greater access to high-quality computer science and STEAM education. In essence, it is exactly what this region needs now to be a technology leader tomorrow.”

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  • Our Mission

    The mission of IDEA Space KC is to build a mutually supportive space in south Kansas City where students and educators explore Innovation, Discovery, Entrepreneurship and Arts through consistent, ongoing learning experiences.

Our Vision

IDEA Space empowers learners and educators today to create the Kansas City of tomorrow.

It will be a community resource where students in kindergarten-grade 12 engage in STEAM learning through hands-on activities and experiences. Through collaboration with regional private and public school districts and home school programs, students will acquire important 21st century skills: creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving.

IDEA Space will broaden and diversify pipelines into four key workforce development areas: skilled trades, engineering, advanced manufacturing and computer science. A community resource open to all of Kansas City, students and educators will come together through after school programs, summer camps, school and non-profit partnerships. Each participant will receive a minimum of 15 contact hours annually. This amount of time creates consistent and ongoing learning opportunities that allow students to feel comfortable and confident in STEAM fields.



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  • Shane A. Foster

    Shane Foster has been an educator, school leader and advocate for innovative learning for more than 35 years. He is President of The Barstow School, and a longtime proponent of technology integration in education. Mr. Foster helped develop Barstow’s first online classes in 2013 and made STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) an educational priority for students in preschool-grade 12. IDEA Space is the result of his plan to make meaningful, hands-on STEAM education accessible to students throughout the region.
  • Kellye Crockett

    Executive Director
    Kellye Crockett brings over 20 years of experience in education and an unparalleled passion for all things STEAM-related to IDEA Space. She describes herself as a dreamer, doer, maker, leader, risk taker. Others describe her as “the person who puts programs and supports in place so that others can achieve success.” Kellye has a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master’s in strategic communications from the University of Missouri.
  • Jennifer L. Dreiling

    Vice President, Advancement
    Jennifer Dreiling has been in development, fundraising and finance in the Kansas City area for 20 years. Her expertise in major gift and capital campaign fundraising has been critical to IDEA Space’s development. Jennifer has raised millions of dollars through building key relationships and strategic development with individuals, foundations and corporations on a local and national level. She holds a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences from the University of Oklahoma.

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  • IDEA Space KC Advisory Board

    Rick Chambers, Executive Director, Center School District Foundation 
    David Disney, retired, JE Dunn Construction
    Nicki and Jeremy Fry, Owners, Fry Orthodontics 
    Tom Gray, CEO/Producer, Make48
    Kevin Jeffries ’74, President/CEO, Leawood Chamber of Commerce 
    Michael Kulp, President/CEO, KBP Foods 
    Scott Lippert, President, Artisan Technology Group 
    Melea McRae, President/Founder, Crux Marketing 
    Amanda Morgan ’94, Director, Morgan Family Legacy Foundation 
    David Neihart ’79, The Neihart Financial Group 
    Danny O’Neill, CEO/Founder, The Roasterie 
    Nancy Embry Thiessen ’66
    Jenny Thiessen Waldeck ’90
  • The Barstow School Board of Trustees

    Executive Committee
    Joel Brous '88, Chair
    Amanda Morgan '94, Vice Chair
    Susan Belger Angulo '76, Secretary
    Robert Rothhaas, Treasurer
    Greg Graves, Member-at-Large
    Soni Patel, Member-at-Large
    Jason Press '90, Member-at-Large
    Thomas F. Whittaker '83, Member-at-Large

    Jennifer Gille Bacon
    Tim Cowden
    Michael Kulp
    Quinton Lucas '02
    Mira Mdivani
    Ram Shankar
    Rochelle B. Stringer
    Peter A. Vrooman '88
    Jennifer Thiessen Waldeck '90
    Shane Foster, Barstow President, Ex-Officio Member

Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

IDEA Space KC is committed to inclusion, diversity and equity for those who enter into our space, for our students, for our educators and for our community. Our staff is dedicated to offering a culturally competent curriculum and promoting workplace diversity. 

The Barstow School's Inclusion, Diversity and Equity department will oversee efforts to create a community that values and supports racial equity and justice and promotes equal opportunities for all.

Ryann Tacha, Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

“IDEA Space will be a place where all students will have a seat at the table, where their voices will be heard and their bright ideas honored.”

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