Girl in class

Member News

Check back regularly to see the latest news on what NCGS is up to, and all the incredible things happening at our member schools.

Read archived news.


TYWLS of Astoria Teacher Included Among Top Ten Positive STEAM Influences from Latina Women

5/18/17—Andrea Chaves, a Spanish and computer science teacher and Creative Director at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, was recently named by TECHNOLOchicas as one of the top ten positive STEAM influences from Latina women in the United States.

Chavez achieved this recognition because of the love she has instilled in her students for technology. She has integrated digital education and coding into all of her classes and has led the school’s Tech Crew—composed of student filmmakers, graphic designers, coders, website designers, and project managers—to collaborate and solve problems around school like teaching students about recycling by coding educational video games. In encouraging her students to pursue STEAM fields, Chavez hopes to show that "all girls are equipped to break the boundaries and take part of the change."   

Click here to view a video featuring Chavez and her fellow TECHNOLOchicas.

Foxcroft Student Creates Global Exchange

5/17/17—Camila K., a junior at Foxcroft School, is making a big impact on girls 2,200 miles away, and garnering headlines in the process. Camila has created an international language and cultural exchange program called LEAP (Learn English And Progress) that connects Advanced Placement Spanish students at Foxcroft with girls in Colombia to help them improve language skills and cultural understanding.

A native of Colombia, Camila conceived of the program several years ago while living in Brazil with her family. “I noticed the great difficulties, but also the huge opportunity, for lower income girls to learn and practice English,” she said. A digital, real-time version of the classic pen pal scheme, Camila shared the goal of LEAP “is not only to practice languages but also to provide both sides with a better understanding of each other’s lives, which will be culturally rich for all participants.”

LEAP was recently featured on Telemundo, the second-largest Spanish-language network in the U.S. Telemundo’s Lori Montenegro made several visits to Foxcroft to interview Camila and other student participants. “I am so proud of how these young women are making a difference in the world while expanding their own skills. Camila's project is a model for service learning!” tweeted Head of School Cathy McGehee after the two-minute segment aired live. The piece was also streamed nationally.

Camila has big plans for LEAP: “My goal is to continue to expand this concept and make sure that we build a network that can help educate hundreds of girls from all around the world about different cultures for years to come.”

Hamlin Students Win NASA’s Optimus Prime Challenge

5/16/17—Two Hamlin School students were recently awarded NASA’s Optimus Prime Challenge (OPSPARC). The challenge asked students to use their imaginations and creativity to identify NASA Spinoff technology in their everyday world. Items such as memory foam, invisible braces, firefighting equipment, artificial limbs, scratch-resistant lenses, aircraft anti-icing systems, and long-distance telecommunications were first developed for a NASA mission and later re-worked to make everyday life easier.

Hamlin 7th graders Alexa T. and Ellie J. researched Thermawing technology, which prevents plane wings from freezing. They redesigned the technology to be used in greenhouses to keep crops from freezing in the winter. To display their research findings and ideas, Alexa and Ellie made a physical model of their Spinoff creation and used a combination of text, images, and videos to create a Glogster Multimedia Poster, which was later submitted to NASA.

The girls, along with their teacher Melissa Alfred, were awarded a paid trip to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, where they will attend NASA workshops and the NASA OPSPARC Awards Ceremony.

Linden School Teacher Wins Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence

5/11/17—Beth Alexander, Curriculum Leader and STEM teacher at The Linden School, was recently awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Since 1993, this award has recognized outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines who, through the innovative use of information and communications technologies, have helped Canadian students to meet the challenges of a 21st-century society and economy.

From a life-size model that allows students to climb inside a computer to a lab exploring the chemistry of candy, Alexander has revealed herself to be the creative genius behind many innovative projects, which have transformed Linden’s classrooms into spaces where students are able to enjoy exploring STEM and ICT fields. Understanding all students learn differently, Alexander excels in adapting lessons accordingly, sometimes using a flipped classroom model to pre-teach material and always utilizing class time to encourage students to take charge of their own learning by asking questions, seeking answers, setting goals, and performing self-assessments.

“Beth is, by far, one of the most outstanding, creative, passionate, innovative and engaged teachers that I have ever known,” shared Dr. Lisa Barnoff, a parent and member of Linden’s Board of Trustees. “Beth’s pedagogical approach encourages students to develop their own capacity for leadership and helps them see how their academic skills can make the world a better place.”


Margaret Talkington School Student Named National Merit Semifinalist

5/10/17—Student Zaina M. was recently named the first National Merit Semifinalist from the Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders, a member of NCGS and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year, and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. Less than 1% of high school seniors can claim the designation of National Merit Semifinalist.

Stoneleigh-Burnham Student Wins Big at World Debating and Public Speaking Championship

5/9/17—Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) student Sophie H. ’18 recently returned from the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Sydney, Australia, where she earned 6th place in After Dinner Speaking and 12th place in Interpretive Reading. A member of the U.S. team, Sophie was one of 120 competitors from 12 different countries that competed at this year’s championship.

A member of the Stoneleigh-Burnham Debate and Public Speaking Society, Sophie qualified for the championship upon competing at the International Independent School Public Speaking League tournament in West Vancouver, B.C., Canada in October. Sophie joins an elite group of world competitors from SBS dating back to 1988: she’s the 16th SBS student to compete on the world stage.

Dr. Paul Bassett, Head Coach of the SBS Debate & Public Speaking Society, lauded Sophie for her focused preparation and stellar performance. “She’s grown a lot from the experience,” said Bassett. “She was already an impressive speaker, but the experience of competing on the world stage has really upped her game.”

Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy Participates in Innovative Conferences

5/8/17—Students from the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy (YWCPA) at Houston—a member of NCGS and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network—recently presented at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco and at the SXSWedu Conference in Austin. The goal of SXSWedu is to foster innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education. At SXSWedu, YWCPA students presented their findings on project-based learning in computer science.

The Force is Female at This Year’s Archer Film Festival

5/4/17—The Archer School for Girls recently hosted its fifth annual Archer Film Festival, with Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy serving as the keynote speaker. Kennedy followed in the footsteps of some major Hollywood names, including previous keynote speakers J.J. Abrams, Nina Jacobson, and Vanessa Morrison, to name a few.

Kennedy spoke about Star Wars, gender equality, and her secrets to producing success. “'Right now women make up less than a quarter of all positions in the film industry, and less than a third of all speaking roles,” shared Kennedy. “These are all jobs that women can do, they just need to be given the chance … so, do, or do not. There is no try. The force is female."

"One of the most important things that we need to teach girls is how to ask for what they want, so when they run an event like this, they go out and they get the theater donated, they get the food donated, they approach people like J.J. Abrams or Kathleen Kennedy to be their keynote speakers," explained Head of School Elizabeth English. "They have to ask, and they learn sometimes people are going to say no, but guess what, often times people say yes.”

The Archer Film Festival is a high school student film festival dedicated to empowering female filmmakers. The goal is not to exclude men, but rather to include women. This year’s festival saw more than 800 submissions from high schoolers across the globe.


Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Arnold Wins Big at Engineering Showcase

5/3/17—The Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Arnold, a member of NCGS and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, recently entered high school and middle school teams into Grand Prairie’s ISD engineering showcase, STEaMposium 2017. The competition featured three different types of challenges, including instant engineering challenges, early release engineering challenges, and robotics building and programming. Arnold’s high school team won first place and was awarded the STEMly Cup, while the middle school team was awarded second place medals for their work in the competition’s engineering challenges.

Lincoln School Co-Hosts First All-Girls ‘Hackathon’

5/2/17—NCGS member Lincoln School and Sophia Academy recently co-hosted the first all-girls ‘hackathon’ in Rhode Island. The event, called ’Girls Hack the World,’ encouraged girls and young women to pursue an interest in computer science and tech fields—a necessary step to rectify the gender imbalance in STEAM professions—by providing them with an inspiring space for hands-on coding, problem-solving, and collaboration.

The event kicked off with two keynote speakers: Roopa Parekh, New England Market Vice President of Konica Minolta and Theresa Moore, Founder and President of TTime Productions.

An enthusiastic group of 75 students in Grades 5–10 from Lincoln School and Sophia Academy were divided into teams and assigned mentors. The role of the mentors was to help the teams organize the design process, assist with using the platform, and spur the teams to take risks to create true hacks. Because the event was held on Earth Day, the teams built and coded apps and games designed to generate real-world solutions to Rhode Island’s environmental problems.

“There was such a buzz in the room and so much creativity going around. Whether they came in with little coding experience or a lot of experience, they left with accomplished problem-solving skills that will last a lifetime,” said Susan Amsler-Akacem, Head of Lincoln’s Education Technology Department.

Irma Lerma Rangel School Receives Visit from Senator Wendy Davis

5/1/17—Former Senator Wendy Davis recently visited Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School—a member of NCGS and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network—to hold a training for students interested in taking action about human trafficking and the trafficking of minors. Senator Davis visited alongside her staff from her non-profit organization, Deeds Not Words, a dynamic community that aims at connecting passionate young women to resources, policymaking tools, and each other in hopes of inspiring them to take action and be changemakers.

Students previously participated with Senator Davis in the NEST Student Forum, which took place in the fall of 2016. Facilitated by the NEST Foundation, a non-profit working to end sexual exploitation and trafficking in America, the forum prompted a conversation on finding ways to end child sexual exploitation and trafficking in Texas.

Stoneleigh-Burnham Student Rides to Success at Equestrian National Finals

4/28/17—Stoneleigh-Burnham School student Isabela C. ’19 recently placed fourth in beginner flat equitation individually at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA. Isabela is a member of the Stoneleigh-Burnham IEA team. She qualified for the National Finals by winning first place at the IEA Zone 1 Finals held at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA. This placed Isabela as number one in New England in her division.