Schools of the Future [Student Engagement] Challenge

We acknowledge we are hosted on the lands of the Mississaugas of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Wendat.
We also recognise the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

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I would like to recognize and highlight that the students, families and education workers in our class community continued to connect, collaborate and build relationships while in school moving from brick-and-mortar to remote learning spaces throughout the school year. Their respect for each other was strengthened by their understanding in being patient, adaptable and persevering during a global pandemic.

Creating a space that was safe (revisiting, co-create established norms) allows students to ask questions, make mistakes and understanding they have a support system between themselves and educators both in-person and during remote learning.

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Student Quote:
"Remote learning has shown that our class can get thrown into anything and even though there has been some challenges along the way we were still able to have a great school year. We are able to collaborate, communicate and critically think through problems."

Student Quote:
"Remote learning has gave us really good opportunities and has been a big journey. Even though personally I enjoy in person school better I have learned so much in online learning. Remote learning helped us learn more about digital learning tools on the computer and we were working so hard in a different learning spaces."

STEM Kits during Remote Learning

Reimagining instructional practices to curate learning experiences for our students while building relationships remains as our main focus and ongoing reflection as we debrief as educators on ways to provide support for each other and our students.

STEM kits allowed students to continue to reimagine their learning through the Design Thinking Process. As educators we continue to create experiential learning opportunities or experiences where students learn from and teach each other. Collectively they participate in the creation of new ideas, knowledge and content, while developing a mix of cognitive and social skills not only in-person but during remote learning too.

STEM Kit Delivery

Arrangements were made to have kits picked up from the home-school or delivered to their homes.

STEM Kit Delivery

Students were provided a safety guide, message of appreciation and design challenge! All consumables used for builds based on challenges and choice project;tools will be picked up at the end of the year.

Student Quote:
"The STEM kits are really fun and educational and are a new way to learn while still being very important. STEM kits are a way to learn so many new things in a fun way!"

Girls Who Game Club

#GirlsWhoGame members were provided with opportunities to develop their Minecraft building skills, the Global Competencies focussed on transferable skills and understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The inquiry-based learning and the Design Thinking process guided members to better inform ideas and decisions during this multifaceted journey. GWG members worked in teams to design their microworld and use coding while building a prototype as a solution for the culminating challenge. Members shared with the #GirlsWhoGame community via Flipgrid, as well as making connections with STEM career mentors.

Our goal is to continue on our path and jump onboard the growing eSports Minecraft build challenge community.

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An equity initiative such as, GWG helps to change the mindset and structure that are in place that at times inhibits students to see themselves as part of the STEM world. Having the girls see themselves in their mentors, as a Girl in STEM and as a change maker empowers them to know that they are capable of greatness.

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Student Quote:
GWG felt very nerve-wracking at first. Having to take on a lot of leadership skills, and communicate a lot with teammates and adults -- But GWG helped me grow over that fear, because the people around me ensured that it was okay and that I can do anything if I put my mind into it. Like my teachers, senior and junior mentors."

Entrepreneurship Project

As educators, we curate the learning experiences for our students. Students engage in collaborative inquiry-based projects working on real world problems and develop creative and innovative ideas, knowledge, and products. Throughout the school year students are engaged in problem and inquiry based projects. During the entrepreneurial venture, students have more autonomy as they investigate and solve complex real world problems using critical thinking and problem solving skills. By conducting detailed research, critically analyzing and evaluating problems and evidence this will be highlighted in other areas shared within the Global Competencies while using the Design Thinking process to guide students.

Looking at culture within our classrooms and school communities and how they focus on students’ building creativity, confidence and a problem solving skill set. Building a path towards forward thinking, to promote change and having a positive impact in our daily choices or actions.

By supporting deep learning through learning experiences being intentional about relevance, representation, and agency students begin to better understand their potential role and responsibilities about issues of human and environmental sustainability in a rapidly changing and interconnected world.

Student Quote:
Preparing for Business Day, I learned how work collaboratively with others to get work done effectively and finish group tasks. It also taught me how to persevere when you hit a hurdle; to move on from it and not let it hold you back."

Design Challenges: Board and Community Initiatives

Completing design challenges and the culminating tasks includes backward mapping; ensuring students understood the why they were creating their #RethinkTheBox International Space Station redesign for 2030 launch.

Taking our learning from other STEM projects, transferring our skills and rethinking our All About Me project to showcase our identity, interests and talents by displaying them on our jinx wooden lantern frame.

A local Industrial Engineer worked with students on bi-monthly challenges. These challenges allowed for student designers to have choice, collaborate with peers and critically think about a problem.

Researching community needs, relating it to the UNSDG, considering sustainability, accessibility and being inclusive in the Wychwood Barns Park Youth Design Challenge in updating the local community hub outdoor public space.

How to amp up your Health unit? Why not take students on a learning journey! Coding the McQueen MicroBit robots to amplify digital storytelling as it encountered roadblocks, prompting students to scan QR codes to access additional information created by peers. At the end, students took part in a digital quiz to check their understanding.

Student Quote:
The design challenges helped grow my imagination and made me have more success with ideas both in-class and remotely."