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Inspiring High School Girls by Saving Endangered Species: Robotics Take Flight

2015 NCGS Conference From STEM to STEAM: Girls' Schools Leading the Way June 22 - 24, 2015 St. Catherine's School Richmond, VA The 2015 NCGS Conference will provide educators with an innovative opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, participate in content-based discussions, share classroom materials, learn about web-based teaching resources, and exchange best practices for teaching girls. Girls' schools lead the way in graduating women who become our nation’s scientists, doctors, engineers, designers, and inventors. Research shows that girls' school graduates are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering careers compared to girls who attend coed schools. Nevertheless, women continue to be vastly underrepresented in STEM careers. For this reason, the 2015 NCGS Conference will also serve as a forum for educators to further examine why so many girls choose not to pursue careers in STEM-related fields and, even more important, how we can empower girls to shift this paradigm.

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 22, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

PRESENTERS: Maria Eagen, Science Department Chair and Cathy McGehee, Head of School | Foxcroft School and Aliyah Pandolfi, Founder and CEO | Kashmir World Foundation

Experience flight through the partnership between Foxcroft and the Kashmir World Foundation’s DaVinci Challenge, in which teams of students create and program drones to track endangered species worldwide. Drones combine aeronautical engineering with advanced materials science and robotics. Studies show girls will avidly pursue learning technology when tied to solving real-world problems. We will highlight KWF’s challenge, the student workshop experience, and the on-going program at Foxcroft. Since our first flight, students have designed additional drone components, printed them on our 3D printer, and have developed code to automate flight. We are expanding to include local middle school girls mentored by Foxcroft students. Note: With permission, Foxcroft will demonstrate a test flight during the session and attendees can explore the drone. Read more at

Women in STEM

The development of world-class talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is critical to America’s global leadership. The Obama administration understands that fostering an open and diverse scientific community that draws from an array of unique experiences and viewpoints is a necessary step to realizing this goal.

Supporting women STEM students and researchers is not only an essential part of America’s strategy to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world; it is also important to women themselves. Women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men. And STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation. Increasing opportunities for women in these fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy, in collaboration with the White House Council on Women and Girls, is dedicated to increasing the participation of women and girls — as well as other underrepresented groups — in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by increasing the engagement of girls with STEM subjects in formal and informal environments, encouraging mentoring to support women throughout their academic and professional experiences, and supporting efforts to retain women in the STEM workforce.

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