In keeping with WAM’s double philanthropic mission, a portion of box office proceeds from this production which amounted to $2500 was donated to the Flying Cloud Institute. These funds provided scholarships to ten Berkshire County public school students to attend FCI’s Young Women in Science training program at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Berkshire Community College for the summer of 2017, where they get to work alongside professional scientists in laboratory settings.
About Flying Cloud Institute
The mission of Flying Cloud Institute is to inspire young people and educators through dynamic science and art experiences that ignite creativity. FCI programs promote creative thinking, problem solving, and mastery learning in STEM discliplines through an integrated approach that includes environmental studies and visual and performing arts. We provide children from kindergarten through high school with opportunities to engage in real world experiences under the supervision of professionals in these fields who inspire them to reach their full potential.
Originally based on a 200 acre colonial farmstead in New Marlborough, MA, Flying Cloud Institute was founded in 1980 by Jane and Lawrence Burke with David Schwarz as a center for community education specializing in environmental education, energy and land conservation, and the arts.
In 1983 FCI shifted its focus to science and arts education for children, establishing a summer program with environmental themes, led by area specialists in these fields. FCI was encouraged to begin after school programs on-site and in area schools which began in 1988. This led to a partnership with the Southern Berkshire Regional School District that was formalized in 1990 and continues to the present. The partnership began with a few classrooms participating in interdisciplinary science and math residencies, often involving environmental themes and the arts. By 2000 FCI’s work in this district had expanded to reach 30 teachers, 600 students.
Over subsequent decades FCI has become a major player in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education with partnerships in four Berkshire County school districts. Flying Cloud Institute now reaches over 3500 students each year through their in-school programs (SMArt Schools), summer programs (SMArt Summer Programs), after school and summer programs for girls (Young Women in Science Programs), and the Berkshire STEM Educators Conference (formerly BEEN Conference) and the Youth STEM Summit (formerly Youth Environmental Summit).