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2019 Teachers Take Flight Workshop Announces Scholarship Winner

The Teachers Take Flight workshop is a hands-on learning experience that was developed by the Kashmir World Foundation (KwF), a nonprofit that is dedicated to protecting endangered species by using custom drones with Edge A.I. The workshop allows educators to build, program, and operate drones as part of an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum that aims to motivate students to apply what they learn to real world applications.

To honor innovative educators, for Teachers Take Flight 2019, KwF opened an experience scholarship to attend the workshop and receive a quadcopter drone kit. The nonprofit is pleased to announce Lisa Rode, a sixth grade teacher at Kings Glen Elementary School and the Fairfax County Public Schools 2019 Outstanding Elementary Teacher, as the scholarship winner this year.

"Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn something new and to work as a team to challenge ourselves to find new ways to bring computer science to life in elementary school." - Lisa Rode

In 2014, Lisa started a Raspberry Pi after-school robotics club to teach students programming, engineering, and problem-solving skills. She integrates technology and robotics into classroom lessons and an after-school program. In her scholarship application, Lisa stated, “The main role as teachers is to teach students how to learn. When projects are connected to a community, whether that be local, national, or global, student engagement increases. The students have a purpose for their work.”

Lisa hopes that this workshop will give her additional tools and resources to bring back to her school to share with teachers and students to “further integrate computer science and engineering into core curriculum to strengthen connections between subject areas versus teaching them in isolation.” She hopes to ignite the natural curiosity of students and expand the vision of what is possible with STEM.

“We want our students to see knowledge in action so that they can walk away from school ready to continue their learning as adults who participate in environmental conservation and other missions to improve our world and society,” said Lisa. Lisa’s statement echoes KwF’s mission of applying technology to social and environmental causes, and KwF is incredibly excited to work with Lisa and the rest of the participating educators at the workshop this year!

Lisa’s teammate Samantha Teegarden will be participating in the workshop with her. Samantha has just finished her fifth year of teaching fifth grade in Fairfax County and has a Master's of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in math and sciences.

The 2019 Teachers Take Flight Workshop will be held from August 5 - 8 at 11710 Plaza America, Reston, VA in partnership with CapTech Consulting. Registration for the 4-day hands-on workshop can be found at this link!

For more information, please contact

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