A Powhatan School STEM team placed first out of 22 teams in the region at the sixth annual Expedition K2M STEM Competition held on the campus of Foxcroft School over the weekend.
Powhatan sent three teams to compete against 13 other middle schools across the region, including public schools and independent schools from Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.
Data Breach 2017: Expedition K2M
Teams competed in six different challenge activities that incorporated STEM fields, including biology, technology, math and engineering. Each activity consisted of a 20 minute timed challenge that gave teams a new clue to solve an overarching mystery at the end of the day. In this particular case, the theme “Data Breach” related to a mystery of a stolen credit card.
“It’s all about teamwork and communication,” says Mrs. Hobbs, an Upper School Science teacher and one of the STEM team coaches. “The challenges really focus on problem solving and critical thinking. They had to work together, to listen to each other and It was a little stressful because it was timed, but each of the teams really put forth a terrific effort.”
“But mostly, it was a fun activity to get the kids excited about math and science,” added Ms. Walzak, an Upper School math teacher and STEM team coach.
“I am so proud of our Powhatan girls,” said Mrs. Scarborough, Head of School. “We’ve participated each of the 6 years, having won some of the individual challenges, but this is the first time that we won the whole competition. They really worked hard out there.”
“One of the unique parts of the Foxcroft competition is the added educational aspect of the day,” continued Mrs. Scarborough. “The competition sponsor, K2M, a biomedical company located in Leesburg, Va., sent a number of women engineers to speak to the group of 200 middle school and high school girls and to show the paths that lead them to their selected fields. They spoke about their college choices and opportunities in the workforce. It’s very important for girls to see these very successful scientists and engineers sharing their experiences. The program really empowers our young girls to get excited about the opportunities in STEM fields.”
According to the Foxcroft School website:
“Organized by Foxcroft’s STEM faculty, K2M has become a highlight of the winter for participants, volunteers, and spectators, and this year should be no exception. Working in teams of three or four, the girls will take on six separate challenges, including one developed by engineers at K2M, Inc., the Leesburg, VA, biomedical company that has sponsored the event since it started.
Approximately 13 middle schools fielded 22 teams. Participants included St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School (Washington, DC), Blue Ridge Middle School (Purcellville, VA), Grymes Memorial School (Orange, VA), Harmony Middle School (Hamilton, VA), The Hill School (Middleburg), Immanuel Christian School (Springfield, VA), J. Michael Lunsford Middle School (Chantilly, VA), Mercer Middle School (Aldie, VA), Norwood School (Bethesda, MD), St. John’s Episcopal (Olney, MD), Trailside Middle School (Ashburn, VA), and the Village School (Charlottesville, VA).
In addition to Foxcroft, the Academy of Science (Sterling, VA), Georgetown Visitation (Washington, DC), Highland School (Warrenton, VA), Loudoun Valley High School (Purcellville, VA), Middleburg Academy, Orange County High School (Orange, VA), Randolph-Macon Academy (Front Royal, VA), and Wakefield School (The Plains, VA) are sending teams.