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STEAMing up Learning: Robotics heats up at Laval Senior

February 13, 2018 – 8:05 pm | 128 views

This is a guest post by SWLSB Science and Technology consultant Samuel Altarac.
How many times do we hear that math and science are boring and not creative? After witnessing the energy and imagination present at …

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STEAMing up Learning: Robotics heats up at Laval Senior

February 13, 2018 – 8:05 pm | 128 views

This is a guest post by SWLSB Science and Technology consultant Samuel Altarac.

How many times do we hear that math and science are boring and not creative? After witnessing the energy and imagination present at last week’s CRC Robotics competition, I can vehemently disagree!

Students from twenty-five schools across the province (even one team from BC) all zealously converged on Laval Senior Academy High School to participate in a massive bilingual event where passion, creativity, and scientific thought were STEAM-ing from the bots. Our host school topped off the experience by inviting LEARN to run a pop-up Makerspace in the library where hundreds of elementary school students were given the opportunity to explore circuits, to make animations, “spinart”, robotics, programming, and so much more. Their engagement and excitement spurred on active thinking and above all, fun! Students used everyday items to produce musical notes (think Tom Hanks Big 1988), while others generated beautiful art patterns using coloured pens, cups, corks, electric motors, and their imagination.

As the younger students made use of their higher-order thinking skills in the library, the older competitors, whose robots had just come from the playing field, used their critical thinking and communication skills to troubleshoot their motors and circuits in between heats. Every participant was deeply engaged and “thinking like a scientist”, contributing to their team’s success over the three day event.

My one big reflection on this event was, how can we make all our schools more STEAM-based?

I suspect one way to engage the classroom anew is with Makerspaces – a movement that is “disrupting” the traditional paradigm of education. It has grown in popularity because it has fostered an environment and culture in which students get their “hands dirty” by doing, making, and discovering the world they live in through inquiry and experimentation.

Sir Ken Robinson explains in his TED talk that the educational system we’ve inherited was devised by those who came at the turn of the century during the industrial revolution where it was very successful at training people for factory jobs. However, students are living in a different reality: one where schooling does not guarantee a job.

The robotics competition showed what can often be missing in the classroom: a space for students to actively engage in creative and inquiry-driven projects fueled by their own innate curiosity and passion.

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Let’s commit to empowering our students in all academic disciplines and to learn by doing.

Final Results

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Samuel Altarac | @MRaltarac

 

Teacher Appreciation – Never Give Up!

February 9, 2018 – 9:50 am | One Comment | 760 views

A word that I enjoy, and like to use, is sticktoitiveness.  Also written as stick-to-it-ive-ness, it means perseverance and tenacity. As educators, we don’t want our students to give up easily as soon as they start …

Teacher Appreciation – Reap the Rewards of Hard Work!

February 7, 2018 – 10:45 am | One Comment | 704 views

Teacher appreciation week continues on the LEARN blog! Quebec teachers, you’ve been working hard! March break is coming, but before that well-deserved rest, please know that all of your hard work is paying off.  Parents, …

Teacher Appreciation – Do What You Love, Love What You Do!

February 6, 2018 – 2:23 pm | 1,792 views
https://images.pexels.com/photos/786799/pexels-photo-786799.jpeg?h=350&auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb

We’ve all heard the advice that if we find a job that we love, we’ll never really work a day in our lives. The Québec educators highlighted in this first of three blog posts in …

Who Needs Kindness? The role of kindness in schools

January 30, 2018 – 11:12 am | 10 Comments | 1,000 views

This is a guest post by Kathleen Murray, teacher, consultant and author of  Teach Kindness First. Teaching empathy: One conversation at a time. Read on to find out how you could win a copy of her …

Music, Memory and Making the Most of Earworms

January 17, 2018 – 11:02 am | Comments Off on Music, Memory and Making the Most of Earworms914 views

This is a guest post by music educator Louise Campbell.
Memory is trained less and less in our everyday lives, with major impacts on students’ ability to understand and master subject matter. Assuming there are basics …

Sphere of Influence: The role of Science and Technology consultants

January 11, 2018 – 1:43 pm | One Comment | 298 views

Science teaching is a demanding and rapidly changing profession. Our many dedicated Science and Technology teachers work hard to prepare meaningful lessons and develop activities to promote student understanding of the scientific method and the …

Think like a Historian: The Intellectual Operations Master Kit

November 13, 2017 – 12:21 pm | One Comment | 1,039 views

Dan Hedges is a Social Science consultant at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.   
I’m outing myself as a nerd here, but I’m sincerely excited to describe a  student centered learning tool that has lately …

Preparing Students for an Ever-Changing Workforce

October 25, 2017 – 10:46 am | Comments Off on Preparing Students for an Ever-Changing Workforce268 views

Our students are living in a period of rapid global, cultural and technological change, all of which impact not only their daily lives, but also their futures. In fact, students today live in a time during which simply being “good” at school …

Animals in School? Fostering empathy through civic engagement

October 10, 2017 – 1:39 pm | Comments Off on Animals in School? Fostering empathy through civic engagement946 views

A special guest post by Emelie Luciani from Engage Animal Welfare Education – engageanimal.org
The Grade 6 students at Nesbitt School were lining up for their turn to greet Athena and Sofia. Having done this activity …

Interagir, oui. Mais comment ?

September 27, 2017 – 10:25 am | Comments Off on Interagir, oui. Mais comment ?1,025 views

Collaboration spéciale de Véronique Landry, conseillère pédagogique en FLS à la CSSWL.
L’idée de travailler à développer des ressources permettant aux élèves du secondaire d’améliorer leur compétence à interagir en français est née de plusieurs questions …