Inspiring girls to pursue 21st-century science, math, engineering, and tech skills
In the 21st century, the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are critical. At Foxcroft, they are also fun. You might learn physics by coding a Sphero robot to move through a maze or improve your computer skills by creating an arcade game. Put on a hard hat and see how engineers, architects, and contractors build a new dorm. Program a drone in our STEM club.
Our STEM teachers are passionate about their subjects. They are also inspiring role models — our seven STEM teachers are women and two of them have doctorates. They bring energy and enthusiasm to your class with real-life applications, inquiry-based assignments, hands-on projects, and cool technology tools. These workshops, internships, seminars and presentations with STEM professionals will open your mind.
Research shows that attending an all-girls school affects students’ interest and success in STEM fields.* Here’s a look at graduates of independent girls’ schools as compared to girls who graduated from coed independent schools:
List of 4 items.
more likely to major in math, science & technology
more likely to consider engineering careers
more confident in their computer ability
more confident in their mathematical ability
At Foxcroft, more than 30 percent of recent graduates chose STEM fields as their majors in college.
– Betsy ’21
“I was interested in STEM before coming to Foxcroft, and my interest has only grown with all the opportunities available here.”
– Cathy McGehee, Head of School
“Our school is leading the way in STEM education for girls by encouraging our students in record numbers to participate in computer science.”
– Gabriela ’15, 2nd year Computer Science major
“At Foxcroft, I learned to speak my mind and value my own voice, giving me the strength to pursue an interest in a primarily male-dominated field.”
Engineering students closed out the school year with one final design review to share details about the projects they delivered to their respective community partners. A total of four EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) teams designed solutions to unique problems that were identified both on and off-campus.
Last Thursday, April 28, STEM students had the opportunity to participate in activities for International Girls in ICT Day, a program hosted by the International Telecommunications Union to help encourage young women to develop STEM skills for a career in Information and Communications Technology. The theme of this year’s event was “Access and Safety.” With the help of visiting ICT professionals from Cisco — Maria Erickson, Ademola Desalu, and Jeff Chun — participating students were led through various activities to experience this worldwide event firsthand.
Students in Fine Art Department Chair and STEAM teacher Julie Fisher’s “Explorations in Engineering” class are collaborating on unique projects guided by the EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) curriculum designed by Purdue University. Their ideas serve to better the lives of others, with one group focusing on developing an interactive, engaging way to teach and practice math and another designing a solar-powered set of lanterns to sustainably light the way on campus.
Foxcroft team takes third in the high school division.
Bullis School and Harmony Middle School each claimed the top prize in their respective high school and middle school divisions during Foxcroft’s 11th annual STEM Challenge on February 19.
Designed for middle and high school students, the competition saw 118 girls from 14 schools throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math to take on issues like ocean acidification, microplastics pollution, ocean farming, and more as they participated in challenges revolving around this year’s “Oceans 911” theme.
Tuesday Talks are a lecture series hosted by the Virginia Tech Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center offering the opportunity to learn about a variety of equine health topics from Equine Medical Center clinicians, residents, and guest speakers.
by Nia D. ’22
For this week's Tuesday Talk, our Equine Science class learned about neurological disorders in equines from Dr. Krista Estell, Clinical Assistant Professor of Equine Medicine at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, who has a special interest in cardiology and oncology in addition to neurology. She began the talk by speaking about the basic anatomy of the spine and spinal cord. The spinal cord is basically a soft cylindrical tissue that connects the brain to the rest of the body and there are nerves that enter and exit the spinal cord between the vertebrae. The spinal cord is also cushioned by cerebral fluid to protect it from the surrounding bone.
A native Pennsylvanian, Kristine has taught and served as a teacher leader in a variety of school settings. Her passion for teaching developed as a student at Middlebury College, where she earned her B.A. in Physics. It was there, as one of only a handful of female physics majors, that she became committed to making physics and STEM accessible to all. Kristine has also earned an M.A. in Teaching from Duke University and an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston. She is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education.
Prior to coming to Foxcroft, Kristine taught physics and math in public schools in Brooklyn, NY, for six years and served as the Upper School Physics Teacher and Science Department Chair at the Emery/Weiner School in Houston, TX, for five years. She joined the Foxcroft faculty as the Director of STEM Education in 2018, bringing a collaborative, mission-driven approach to leadership and a student-centered, inquiry-based philosophy of teaching.
Interested in the intersection of music and physics, Kristine has taught several summer courses on the science of music. She currently sings with Voce Chamber Singers in Vienna, VA, and enjoys yoga and cooking in her spare time.
Meghen Tuttle came to Foxcroft from her home city of Los Angeles, CA. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2002 from the University of Southern California in classical voice with a minor in neuroscience. While continuing her professional work as a classical musician, Meghen pursued a Ph.D. in neuroscience (2014) under the direction of Drs. Antonio and Hanna Damasio. Her doctoral studies at USC's Brain and Creativity Institute focused on the broad field of music neuroscience, culminating with her dissertation, entitled “Majoring in Music: How Conservatory Training Changes the Brain.”
It was during graduate school that Meghen found her passion for teaching, through 12 semesters of teaching labs and discussion sections for USC undergraduates, many guest lectures, and work as an education consultant. Meghen firmly believes that, while primary research is vital, communicating the relevancy of that research, both in an educational setting and outside of the ivory tower of academia, is absolutely critical if one hopes to make a difference in society.
Meghen joined the Foxcroft faculty in August 2014 and teaches Biology, AP Biology, and several electives in Neuroscience. In 2016, she added Wellness Education Coordinator to her portfolio and now also teaches the Freshman Wellness class; leads specialized Wellness seminars for New Girls, sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and identifies and brings in Wellness speakers for the community, among other things. Meghen organizes the annual Wellness Weekend and is constantly planning new Wellness offerings to further the development of this vibrant program.
She lives in Stuart Dormitory, where she serves as a dorm parent, with her husband Jay Tuttle, son Jack, and dog, King Louis XIV.
Katie Hergenreder worked as a private tutor, teaching assistant, and radiation oncology research assistant at the University of Maryland Medical Center before joining the Foxcroft faculty in 2016 to teach physics and math and run the Learning Center’s STEM Lab. She also teaches Animal Science and Equine Science as part of the Animal Science Concentration program which Katie developed and coordinates.
Katie’s STEM skills and interests include computer programming and robotics along with math and physics. She is also a Tae Kwon Do black belt and was a member of the University of Maryland's Equestrian Club, serving as the Director of Lessons. She earned her M.Ed. from Vanderbilt Peabody College in the summer of 2021.
Katie lives on campus, is a member of the Dillon Dorm team, and has a lovable yellow-lab mix dog named Khaki. She enjoys reading and riding her pony, Charlie, off campus.
Lindsay Anderson grew up in a small coastal town in Rhode Island, where she developed a passion for the ocean. After receiving a B.S. in marine science and biology at The University of Tampa, she returned to Rhode Island to continue her studies of the ocean. Here she investigated human impacts on coastal environments, receiving M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. Following graduate school, Lindsay completed a postdoctoral fellowship at San Francisco State University and eventually became a grant-funded scientist.
Throughout her undergraduate and graduate education, post-doctoral fellowship, and science career, Lindsay spent much of her free time involved in outreach and education. Through local universities and non-profit organizations, she helped to spread the word about human impacts on coastal environments and encouraged people of all ages to build an appreciation of and a love for the ocean.
While the ocean is still Lindsay’s passion, this work helped Lindsay discover her true calling as a teacher. In 2014 Lindsay switched to teaching full-time, and prior to coming to Foxcroft, she has taught biology and physics at all girl’s Catholic schools in California and Houston.
Lindsay lives in Lodge with her husband Eric, son Everett, and dog Konza. The Anderson family loves to spend time outside and make their way to the ocean as often as possible.
Thanh Chau (Jade) Do joins the Foxcroft faculty in Fall 2021 as a Math teacher, Dorm parent in Orchard, and Robotics coach. A recent graduate of the University of Miami with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, Jade spent the last year at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Miami, FL, teaching math and computer science, as well as co-supervising the underwater robotics club.
In her free time, Jade loves to learn about traditional culture and arts, as well as participating in community services.
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.