THE STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
To ensure the thoughtful and appropriate development and integration of a STEM curriculum with Powhatan’s
Nature-Enhanced Approach to Learning at all grade levels, the Curiosity Ignited! Campaign is divided into three
essential components and will raise $1.395 million to implement Powhatan’s STEM vision.
1.Elevate STEM Programming: $945,000
Science is alive at Powhatan, where the passion teachers bring to their classrooms is instilled in Powhatan
students on a daily basis. Our vision is to engage students in using creativity, logic, and problem-solving skills
while learning STEM concepts. Powhatan will achieve this vision by:
- Transforming the Lower and Upper School Science Labs into Science and Innovation Labs.
Powhatan plans to retrofit and upgrade the underutilized Lower School Science classroom and integrate the
study of engineering, including a LEGO® robotics program. The space will be converted into a modular lab
that spills out onto an outdoor exploration area with a deck and greenhouse. The Lower School Science and
Innovation Lab will become the hub of science, technology, engineering, and math activity and learning for
our youngest students.
The school will also upgrade our Upper School Science Lab by investing in curriculum design and
development and by equipping the lab with state-of-the-art materials, including machines, mechanisms and
the integration of new and relevant technologies. As part of the overall transformation, Powhatan will build a
MakerSpace. A MakerSpace is defined as a physical space or environment brimming with supplies and
dedicated to sky’s-the-limit exploration. This exciting direction in STEM education encourages hands-on
learning, collaboration and invention – key components to removing traditional barriers separating STEM
disciplines and integrating them into real-world learning experiences for our students.
The newly upgraded Science and Innovation Labs will integrate technology and provide increased
opportunities for inquiry-based discovery, small-group project work, and experiential learning to engage
students during school and also in our after-school and summer camp programs.
- Upgrading Campus Technology Infrastructure. Powhatan plans a significant investment in its technology
infrastructure, which will be led by a Technology and Innovation Partner, a new partnership funded through
the existing School budget. Our Partner will vision and design a technology plan for Powhatan School that
inspires innovation, design thinking, modeling and analyzing in STEM subject areas and the humanities. The
Partner will also actively seek collaboration in technology with local businesses, agencies, schools, colleges
and universities, and create professional development opportunities. Funds raised through the Curiosity
Ignited! Campaign will be critical in our efforts to fully integrate technology at Powhatan School in meaningful
ways with our STEM programming.
- Hiring an Engaging and Experienced Science and NEAL Coordinator. This individual will support and collaborate with Lower School teachers to bring the STEM curriculum to life both in and outside of the
classrooms and labs; facilitate the cross-curricular integration of our nature-enhanced approach; ensure the
sequential progression of skills and topics from grades Pre-K through fifth grade. The STEM Instructor will
also collaborate with the Upper School science and math teachers to track core skills and content through
curriculum review, bridging the seamless integration of the science and math programs from Lower to Upper
School. Funding for the faculty position will be allocated over a five-year period.
- Providing STEM Related Faculty Professional Development. We view professional development as an
important commitment to investing in—and building on—teachers’ professionalism, intellectual activity, and
ability to shape the future through the evolution of curriculum design and delivery.
It will be critical to provide professional development opportunities in STEM education at the same level the
School has invested in professional development for the language arts program in order to successfully
integrate STEM into the Powhatan curriculum.
2.Crocker Conservancy Integration and Development: $250,000
The 47-acre Crocker Conservancy provides the means and the opportunity to meld curricular programs with
outdoor education and provides the perfect venue for blending classroom exploration of STEM concepts with
our NEAL philosophy and exposure to real world habitats.
The School has already begun to develop the Crocker Conservancy into a premier outdoor education center and
seeks to build:
- a Gathering Pavilion
- a Wetland Inquiry Boardwalk
- a Wildlife Observation Deck
- a System of Hiking Trails.
3.STEM Endowment: $200,000
Creating a designated endowment fund at Powhatan dedicated to STEM will ensure that there are permanent and
secured funds each year to invest in STEM initiatives. This endowment will also enable us to maintain the Crocker
Conservancy; replace or upgrade furniture, fixtures and equipment over time; and provide the opportunity to
supplement STEM-related operating budget if our endowment goal is exceeded.
Since 1948, generations of Powhatan parents, family members, and friends have provided the philanthropic support
critical to building and sustaining this institution. Curiosity Ignited! is the fifth major fundraising Capital Campaign in Powhatan School’s history.
Time and again, Powhatan has become a stronger school because of those who were willing to invest in initiatives
to revitalize and enhance our programs. Today we are poised to take another leap forward both to sustain the
mission of Powhatan and to better prepare our students, even more fully, to become the future leaders in their
professions and communities and to face the challenges of tomorrow. Join us!