Sam Zeff / KCUR

Most people know by now that it's pretty hard for women to land a high-tech job.

In fact, while 57 percent of all professional jobs are held by women in the United States, only 26 percent of computing jobs go to women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

But, it turns out, landing that high paying tech job is even harder for women who go to Midwestern universities.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Engineering firm Burns & McDonnell has received Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly drones for commercial use.

The Kansas City-based company celebrated the new certification with a test flight Wednesday over the new campus being built in south Kansas City.

Steve Santovasi says using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to complete inspections presents a significant time savings over having to obtain permits to bring in heavy equipment.

Mike Foster
Julie Denesha / / KCUR

Some innovators develop something completely new. Others take something that everyone thought was working fine and make it better.

Too often in the face of disaster, needed supplies and equipment are bogged down by transport difficulties and red tape. Dara Dotz is working to transform the humanitarian process — by incorporating 3-D printing to make tools on the spot.

Dara Dotz is one of the presenters at TEDxKC, which takes place from 5-11 p.m. on August 29 at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. For information, visit

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Technology has transformed farming, one of the Midwest’s biggest industries, and while fewer people are now needed to actually work the farm field, new types of jobs keep many office workers tied to agriculture.

Beyond operating a tractor and a combine, today’s farmers need to manage all kinds of information. From information technology to web development, the skills that have changed our economy have transformed the agriculture industry as well.

Courtesy Photo / KC STEM Alliance

The White House has made it a point to urge girls to get involved in math, science and engineering.

In 2013, President Obama said, "We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent … not being encouraged the way they need to.” 

Despite that, KC STEM Alliance director Laura Loyacono says that females are actually a shrinking percentage of the computer science workforce.


Jul 30, 2015

In light of the data breach that has compromised thousands of Kansans' health records, we discuss how individuals and businesses can protect personal information from being hacked. 


  • Dustin Jacobsen is the chief strategy officer for Flat Square Technology Group, Inc.
  • Brandon Holley is the business development manager for Network Technologies Inc.

Kansas City, Missouri is in the midst of hiring a new Chief Innovation Officer, but what exactly does that job entail? The position, which is common in tech firms, is a relatively new trend in local governments. 


  • Chris Hernandez is the Director of Communications for Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Jeffrey Stinson covers the business of government for Stateline, which reports on trends in state government for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Cody Newill / KCUR

A group of Web developers from across the globe gathered in Lawrence's Liberty Hall over the weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Django," a Web application framework with Kansas roots.

In 2005, Web developers at the Lawrence Journal World created Django to help journalists put stories on the Web quickly. Now, it's used in a wide variety of websites and apps, such as Instagram, Pinterest and the Washington Times. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Many teachers enjoy their summers on a beach or some other far-flung vacation spot. But a small group of Kansas City educators has traded relaxation for innovation. 

The Lean Lab, based at Kansas City's Sprint Accelerator, recently launched its second cohort of "Incubator Fellows". The group of eight--six teachers, one UMKC student, and one tech entrepreneur--will spend four weeks this summer developing solutions to problems they find in Kansas City education. 

Area journalists are largely behind a push to end a loophole in Kansas that allows emails discussing  public affairs— but sent from a private account— to be exempt from open records laws.  The effort is beginning to gain traction in the legislature. 


  • Karen Dillon is an investigative reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World.
Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Kansas City is generating a lot of buzz about its growing startup community. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk with three entrepreneurs who are creating sports technology that could change the way we train and work out in the near future.  


Connecting for Good

Connecting for Good, a Kansas City-area non-profit that’s working to provide digital literacy and computer access across the metro, established a computer lab last year across from the Juniper Gardens Housing Project in Kansas City, Kansas. The organization recently added 25 computers, because the lab became so popular.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Kansas City Council has approved a $15 million agreement with San Francisco based Cisco Systems Inc., to turn a two mile stretch of the streetcar line into a "Smart City" network. 

The project calls for the creation of interactive digital kiosks that share information about events and city services with pedestrians.

Data about infrastructure and traffic will be detected by sensors and sent back to the city in real time.

Interactive toy maker Sphero has challenged University of Kansas design and engineering students to create its next generation of products — robots that can be  companions and have emotional value to a person. On this edition of Up To Date we talk about the potential social significance of robotics and what the future looks like in the field. 


Technology is finding it's way into every part of our lives, and it may be in our roads sooner than we think. One Kansas City engineer is proposing a smart I-70 that could charge electric cars by contact, connect to navigation systems, and more. 


Courtesy Photo / Paula Rose

Gender representation at Wikipedia is well-documented. Studies conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation (which serves as Wikipedia’s support structure) conclude that less than 15 percent of the popular online encyclopedia’s contributors are female.

According to Siko Bouterse, director of community resources at the Wikimedia Foundation, diversity among editors is vitally important to Wikipedia’s vision.

“Our vision for Wikipedia is ‘the sum of all human knowledge,’” she says. “We need everyone to contribute to that. The encyclopedia is incomplete without that.”

The lack of female editors has significant repercussions on the encyclopedia’s content. Pages on women’s health, women’s issues, and famous women artists tend to be mere paragraphs long, or as Wikipedians say, “stubs,” if they even exist at all.

Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. Research by the Wikimedia Foundation determined that less than 15% of its contributors identify as female, which creates a great disparity in the popular online encyclopedia's content. We discuss what organizations in Kansas City and around the world are doing to fix this problem.


Eleanor Klibanoff / KCUR

If I asked you to imagine the next great tech mind, you might picture a 20-something man in Silicon Valley. But the 20 girls at Coding and Cupcakes at the Sprint Accelerator last Saturday don't have time for gender stereotypes. They've got a website to design. 

Like 8-year-old Kyanne Carlgren, who says she "just maked an account" — her first e-mail account.


From FitBits to Smart watches and Google Glass, tech developers want to incorporate their products into our everyday uniforms. But as the makers of Google Glass found out in January, creating wearable technology that people actually want to use is harder than they they thought. 

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Big Data – it’s a catch phrase these days. But museums in cities across the country, from New York to Dallas to Cleveland, are taking cues from corporations and shopping malls, and collecting data to track visitor behavior. It’s starting to shape what’s on view.

In December, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hired Doug Allen as its first chief information officer, to help analyze data and map a technology strategy.

"Technology will allow us to enrich the experience of a visit, and also allow for a pre-visit," says director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia.

The Super Bowl is a national celebration of football... and advertising. For one day a year, we all gather around our television screens to watch commercials so we can partake in the sport of reviewing them the next morning. But is this still a relevant platform for advertising? Local ad experts weigh in.


  When it comes to personal technology in America, Google and Apple are locked in a battle of the titans for supremacy. We take a look at that fierce competition, and the risks each is willing to take, in their quest to be on top.


  • Fred Vogelstein, author of Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

HEAR MORE: Fred Vogelstein speaks at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Central branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Nearly 500 students from the Kansas City metro area competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, Tech Challenge qualifier Saturday. 

Thirty-seven teams of middle and high school students filled UMKC's Swinney Recreation Center. Each team brought a small remote-controlled robot to roll around small arenas. The students guided their robots to try to collect Wiffle balls and place them in tall bins.

We don't have flying cars, and futurists guess we never will. That's an infrastructure thing. On the other hand, leaps in communication technology have changed our lives in ways that surpass most of our wildest dreams. How does the 2015 we are living in compare to the 2015 visited by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II? Up next: Blade Runner, 2019.


In the Middle East the U.S. military has used drones with great effect.  More properly called UAS or UAV for Unmanned Aerial Systems or Vehicle, their use on American soil for more peaceful purposes have been a source of controversy.

Carolyn Williams, Flickr

A whole podcast genre has developed around devices that put giant sound libraries inside people's pockets. Podcast-lovers enjoy the "headspace you can crawl into when you're listening to incredible radio," says audio-whiz Andrea Silenzi. "You kind of travel to this other space with a podcast." Our guests debate the hugely popular Serial, and discuss their top recommendations for podcast listening.

Audiofiles Recommend:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

One of the latest trends in fashion and technology is based on a very old technology.

Even as cellphone manufacturers and other tech companies are trying to pack every possible gadget into a "wearable" device, some people, young and old, are opting to wear old-fashioned wristwatches.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Watches are about more than telling the time these days. They can monitor your body, connect to the internet, and play music. Techies at Garmin in Olathe, Kan., are busy re-inventing the wristwatch of the 21st century, while old-school techies are dedicated to keeping vintage timepieces ticking. 


There's a silence in the conversation. Does your hand start inching involuntarily toward your phone? The speed and easy access of communication technology has changed the way we relate: to each other, our surroundings, ourselves, and our time. But as we communicate more quickly and more often, are the bonds we forge any stronger?