Several of Foxcroft School’s unique learning experiences will be featured June 25 and 26 when seven students, recent alumnae, and faculty members from the Middleburg, VA school make major presentations at the National Coalition of Girls Schools’ annual conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The conference, “Education Innovation: Building Cultures of Creativity,” offers attendees an opportunity to share ideas, make connections, and define or redefine what innovation means to them and their schools. Both Foxcroft School presentations are 60-minute “Innovation Odyssey” sessions at which presenters share their school’s creative approach to exploring and solving a particular challenge.
On Sunday afternoon, Foxcroft’s STEM Department Chair Maria Evans, Ph.D., and alumnae Lilly Savin (Class of 2016) and Guen Geiersbach (2017), together with Head of School Cathy McGehee, will highlight Foxcroft’s robust engineering program. Using the framework of Purdue University’s EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) curriculum over the past six years, Dr. Evans has developed a course that broadens students’ community perspective while introducing the design cycle and enhancing critical thinking among participants.
Savin, a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech, and Geiersbach, who plans to attend Lehigh University in the fall, were part of engineering teams that designed and built a produce stand and sorting table for NW Works, a Winchester, VA nonprofit that helps adults with disabilities secure employment. They will share their experiences and demonstrate several creative exercises that Dr. Evans — an aerospace engineer who has launched rockets and designed satellite orbits — employs, such as using a decision matrix to identify a girl’s first-choice colleges.
On Monday, June 26, Amara Brooks, a rising junior from Washington, D.C., and Mackenzie Green, a rising sophomore from Leesburg, VA, together with Director of Educational Technology Alexander Northrup, will discuss the “Space to Innovate Project” during which a group of students researched, prototyped, and presented a detailed proposal to Foxcroft School administrators and the Board of Trustees for a makerspace scheduled to open in August.