Challenging the Status Quo: Branksome Hall’s Innovation Centre and Studio Theatre


iCAST Renderings – robotics studio © Courtesy of Branksome Hall

“The schools of the future will use the potential of technologies to liberate learning from past conventions and connect learners in new and powerful ways, with new sources of knowledge, innovative applications, and one another.” — United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

As parents, we want our children to have an education that keeps pace with this age of unprecedented disruption. Our educational systems require immediate transformational change to do just that. Stimulating that change is what Branksome Hall does best.

Leading from the front is a hallmark of the Branksome vision. Rejecting outmoded systems, Branksome maintains a critical eye on leading-edge pedagogy—building out skills-based programming that brings the real world into the school and its students into the real world. Branksome’s mission is to continually evolve, anticipating what’s next and scaling up in advance. Great things happen when learning goes off-script and traditional classroom dialogue is rewritten.

We know the future belongs to original thinkers, problem-solvers, entrepreneurs and those fluent in the STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) increasingly prized in a digital economy. As one of the world’s preeminent girls’ schools, with a Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate approach to curriculum, Branksome is cementing its reputation as a leader in innovative, STEAM-focused education for girls.

Closing the gender divide in STEM fields and entrepreneurship is critical. Women comprise barely 25 per cent of workers in the technology sector. At the executive level, just 11 per cent are women, according to new research from the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

Setting young women up for success in STEM fields and beyond is a key priority. While the school offers an innovative curriculum including robotics, a business incubator program (the first of its kind in Canada in the JK – Grade 12 space) and three Innovation Hubs, extensions are required to further students’ ambition, curiosity and passion.

branksome hall
iCAST-Renderings © Courtesy of Branksome Hall
A $30-million campaign to close the gender divide

That’s why Branksome Hall is set to launch the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. Funded by the $30-million Make Way Campaign launching this month, Branksome Hall has broken ground on the Innovation Centre and Studio Theatre (iCAST), a space where STEM and the arts will collide. It’s set to open in 2025.

The only build of its kind at the JK to Grade 12 level in Canada

The visionary design of iCAST is typically encountered only at the post-graduate level. iCAST will offer students a complete immersive education in skills most prized in tomorrow’s economies, where ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit will be valued far more than pure knowledge.

Above all, iCAST amplifies opportunities to embrace experimentation, risk-taking and problem-solving. This “Innovator’s Mindset” sets up Branksome students for success with transferable skills far beyond entrepreneurship or engineering. Top universities in Canada and globally have remarked that iCAST’s programming, and the competencies it produces, are exactly what they’re looking for.

“iCAST is offering a totally different frontier in education than I’ve seen,” said alum and Grade 4 parent Shelby Austin ’99. She’s currently the CEO of Arteria AI and a renowned start-up expert at the top of her game. “I was a student who shined more when it had practical relevance. iCAST puts practical at the heart and will help students understand and practise the skills of the modern world.”

Thanks to iCAST and its mission to close the STEM gender gap, Austin will have a lot more company in the executive suites in the decades to come.

To learn more about Branksome Hall, visit

What's Inside?

  • Fabrication & Digital Spaces (Machine, Wood & Robotics Workshops)
  • Pitch Space
  • Theatre with 2,550 sq. ft. Tension Grid
  • AI and Augmented Reality Labs
  • Home of Noodle (Business Start-Up Incubator)

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Welcome to Branksome Hall, Toronto’s leading independent International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for girls. We offer courses from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, boarding for Grades 7 through 12 and more than $1 million in financial assistance for qualifying students.


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