• Darshini Babu Ganesh

Foxcroft School + Kashmir World Foundation Together: The Sky's The Limit!

by Foxcroft School

Head of School Catherine S. McGehee Sunday announced a new STEM education and advocacy partnership between Foxcroft School and the Kashmir World Foundation, declaring with a smile, "As this partnership takes flight, the sky's limit!" McGehee prefaced that conclusion with an aside about being corny, but there's nothing trite about this new endeavor. The girls' school and the international foundation -- unlikely partners at first glance -- have, in fact, similar missions, parallel approaches to STEM education and complementary assets. Already, the KWF, headed by CEO Aliyah Pandolfi, has given two teams of Foxcroft girls opportunities to build and learn robotics in a fun, purposeful contect, while Foxcroft has opened its spacious, 500-acre campus for flight testing and led an effort to take their lessons and message to national educational conferences. Foxcroft and the KwF already also have a clear set of objectives, ranging from from the concrete (provide role models) to the grandiose (improve the lives of humans and animals everywhere).

They are:

  1. To use research and best practices inherent in the DaVinci Challenge model to engage high school girls everywhere in robotics

  2. To provide role models and mentors for younger girls to develop interest in and begin skills development earlier in their education

  3. To connect Foxcroft’s teams with other girls schools around the world to promote global awareness and understanding in order to solve some of the world’s most pressing needs

  4. To provide professional development for teachers of girls in the public and private sector

  5. To be advocates in the national and global educational arena

  6. Ultimately, to improve the lives of people and animals around the world.

McGehee noted some specific joint initiatives already undertaken, such as a presentation proposal for a national educational organization and conversation with several middle schools about forming an 8th grade team that Foxcroft's veteran Da Vinci students would mentor through a future workshop.She also laid out in detail the myriad factors that led to the formation and support the purpose and importance of the partnership, including extensive research about girls' STEM education and careers, and how they learn best the way and why."The more I learned about the DaVinci Drone Challenge and about Kashmir World Foundation initiatives," said McGehee, "the more I realized their model was the per