2019/20 - EdTech, STEM, and the environment

Best Buy STEM Buddies

ECVS coding and Robotics classes work with Micro;bits and Scratch to learn about block coding and our STEAM class focuses more on design and building challenges and using the Engineering Design Process to work their way through a problem and find a functional solution. A few times this year we have had both of these classes mentor younger students and were pleased to see how well they did. The older kids took ownership of the lessons they prepared and flourished while teaching younger students. We do not have many elementary students engaged in coding yet and I am hoping expanding this idea of “STEM Buddies” to involve them will help, over time, build a stronger foundation and get more kids coding and working with technology. We will set up a student-designed program where junior high students will chose an elementary curricular outcome and weave technology in to bring it to life and get younger kids hooked on coding and design thinking!

APEGA Innovation in education

Launch into Hydroponics!

We propose to use the engineering design process and design thinking methodology to have our students design, build and test various hydroponic growth systems with the potential for maximizing food production and improving efficiency of energy resources for a space colony. This will, in turn, bring appreciation to the resources we are using here on Earth. We hope to connect these ideas to those of the past through cross-curricular work - for example, comparing more modern systems with those of Aztecs, researching the development of agriculture and its effect on societies.

We have added a component of community involvement where we will bring in local special-interest groups and have our students design hydroponic gardens to suit their needs. The best designs will be built and installed in their locations providing an opportunity for gardening indoors all year long.

In addition, we will be helping our students connect with our indigenous history by learning how early people provided for themselves and how they use signs from the Earth to determine air and water quality. Teaching students where we have come from as a society will help propel us forward.

Blooper Reel - (We have a lot of fun too!)

Inside Education A+ For Energy

Bringing the “Green” into Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In this next phase of our sustainability through space exploration project, students will take the lead in researching, designing and exploring different methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They will measure the power used by the systems they design and, by extrapolating experimental data, calculate the amount of CO2 and methane that would be given off, quantifying the carbon emission decrease. Based on their results students will draw conclusions about best practices that can be undertaken in our lives to reduce our carbon footprint through the decrease and reclamation of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Some possibilities include:

  • Hydroponic vs traditional agriculture
  • Solar power vs battery power
  • Other alternative energy sources (wind, biofuel, hydro)
  • Removing emissions - catalytic converters, CO2 scrubbers, etc.
  • Rechargeable batteries vs non-rechargeable batteries
  • Programming timed lighting systems
  • Mixing biofuel and fossil fuels into effective ratios
  • Full-spectrum LED vs Magenta LED lights in greenhouse/hydroponic growth systems
  • Compost/vermiculture systems
  • Waste reduction incentives

2018/2019 - Energy Efficient Space Gardens

Mars, Moon and Micro::bits!

Junior high school students will be exploring the geoscience of farming in Martian and lunar soil, and developing automated sensor and response systems through coding Micro:bit computers to create monitoring, watering, and light plant care systems.

Welcome to Mars! Conserving Energy on the Red Planet

What happens to our views on energy when we try to settle a completely uninhabited place like Mars or the Moon? Our students will be planning a human settlement on Mars and determining how they can both supply and conserve energy for their new civilization using alternative energy sources and programmable energy management and plant care systems.

2017/18 Devon Science Giants Grant

The Martian Garden

I love to collaborate and working with my science-teacher-soulmate, Julie Arsenault, is always an amazing way to improve my teaching practice and come up with new ideas. Julie was eager to jump on board and help me expand and improve this project. Together we researched possibilities and collaborated to find a solution to our financial concerns for expanding. Together we applied for, and received, a Devon Science Giants Grant for the 2017/2018 school year. This crucial funding allowed us to purchase more soil and all additional supplies needed to take our project to the next level and ensuring we could produce valid and reliable results.