Natural Resource Management Camp 2017

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By , October 17, 2017

Natural resource mgmt. camp

With the combined efforts of our local Canfor Mill and the Council of Forest Industries, local companies and ministry employees donated their time and energy to show a group of students different opportunities for employment in the diverse industry of forestry. Students had a great time learning about road engineering, silviculture, timber cruising, archeology and fire management. Thanks to all the sponsors who took time out of their busy schedule to give students a glimpse into this fascinating industry.

Text by Jeffrey Mayer

Simple Personality Test Recommendation

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By , September 18, 2017

In my previous blog post, I wrote about how people need to know more about themselves to more mindfully navigate the courses of their lives.  Work and careers make up a huge portion of our daily lives, and so, it is important to find working lives that align well with the rest of the greater whole that makes a person whom he or she is.

Over the last year, I have become familiar with a number of different personality profiling theories. One I recently learned about is based on the work of Dr. John Holland, an American psychologist.  He developed the Holland Occupational Themes, and his framework postulates that all personalities are made up of a combination of six base categories.  An individual’s top three categories help to paint a picture of what occupations and work environments could best be suited to that person’s personality.

Please try a Holland personality test HERE.  Based on pictures, it’s quick to complete, free of charge, and it’s just plain interesting to see one’s results.  Unlike some web tests, you need not provide an email address.  You’ll be presented with four tiles depicting images of occupations or activities.  Your task is to pick your favourite of the four and indicate this with a check mark and to pick your least favourite, indicating with a red X.  I like how it’s so simple; this can easily be done with even elementary students, and in the event that a child is unsure about what is associated with a particular occupation tile, they can always explore the internet or ask an adult for further clarity before picking a response.

At the end of the personality test, a breakdown of the test taker’s personality type is revealed, along with occupation recommendations that suit his or her custom type.

If you’re a teacher, I recommend you try this with your students.  If you’re a parent, I recommend you try this with your family.  If you’re a human, I recommend you try this for your own self-understanding 🙂

FYI, Holland’s personality categories include:

R- Realistic: “Doers”- practical, hands-on, mechanical, etc.

I- Investigative: “Thinkers”- explorative, inquisitive, introspective, etc.

A- Artistic: “Creators”- sensitive, intuitive, expressive, etc.

S- Social: “Helpers”- working in service to others, kind, interpersonal, etc.

E- Enterprising: “Persuaders”- business-oriented tasks, managing, ambitious, etc.

C- Conventional: “Organizers”- working with data, logical, conscientious, etc.

To learn more, please click the link here.  What is your own personalized “Holland Code”?

A More Humanistic Approach to Education

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By , September 11, 2017

Wikipedia: “Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism)”

In my years as an educator, I have always believed in the power of the potential of human beings.  I would argue that what should be connoted with the phrase “human being” ought to be a profound understanding and appreciation that each and every one of us is perfectly imperfect as we are in this exact moment, each in our own unique ways, with our very own histories, contexts, and desires.  With each soul holding on to such individual, and one of a kind truths, it begs that in the education world, teachers try to get to know the tales of each of the young people they teach. A good teacher tries to make human to human connections with their students and tries to get to know them as people.  This philosophy was clear to me early in my career, when I was a science teacher.  Later, as I moved on to teach in the AVID program, and then after that, in the district’s Career Education program, this appreciation dug in even deeper.

What I have recently put together as a career educator is that widespread, curricular career education needs to be made available to students also through a humanistic lens.  In addition to delivery to students in a recursive manner, career education should ask young people to learn about themselves. I was excited to learn last year that self-inquiry is one of British Columbia’s new education curriculum’s core competencies.  Students must know WHO THEY ARE (self-awareness of one’s values, interests, strengths, limitations, etc.), and this self-inquiry and career education should be recursive, of course, because people and the contexts they’re in CHANGE constantly.

Combined with self-knowledge, young people also need opportunities to access information about potential paths, and opportunities to practice skills that they will need on each respective, individualized path worked in throughout the courses of their educational experiences.

Community gatherings where we celebrate the career accomplishments of our young people are a regular occurrence in School District 60.

Further, another humanistic approach: learning directly from the experiences of others in one’s own local context is beneficial to students. Community engagement is a vital link here, because it is from members of the community that students can learn from first hand, the daily life realities of various career or education options.  This is where we tap into the inherent strength of a human collective. This is an area in which School District 60 has done well historically, but of course, there is always room for wider spread use of this teaching strategy throughout more classrooms, and the District welcomes more local companies and organizations to liaise with us in providing access to career path information through events like Career Days or guest speaking engagements.

Karis T. was a gold medal winner in the regional Skills Canada competition in February 2017. We celebrate the stories of our young people!

If you’d like to work with us in giving the gift of information to young people as they make decisions that affect their futures, please contact the School District 60 Careers department at 250-262-6027 or 250-261-8203.

The Global Maker Trend is Very Strong at Ecole Central Elementary

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By , June 27, 2017

Beautiful Maker learning chaos 🙂  Students were engaged with the play-based learning at their fingertips.

Experimenting with Rube Goldberg machines teaches about the trial and error nature of design thinking.

All the primary students of Ecole Central Elementary (School District 60) participated in Maker Way learning activities this last week of school.  In collaborative, multi-age groups, primary students were led by an intermediate grade helper to construct a Rube Goldberg machine.  A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex, multi-step chain reaction contraption used to do what is ordinarily a simple task.  For example, one Rube Goldberg machine saw a marble traverse down a curved vertical track to knock into a set of lined dominoes, to have the last domino push a toy car off the table into a balance set below, tipping the balance, causing it to fall, and finally, setting off a button that turned on a light!

Students designed, created, played with and remixed their Rube Goldberg machines.  Outside-the-box and logic and science-based thinking were encouraged.

Students used components previously gathered and organized by teachers into kits, but were also encouraged to exercise their creativity and find other components not included in the kits, such as fans, mouse traps, pins, etc.

Their machines had to have at least three transfers of energy and incorporate a working littleBits circuit.  (LittleBits are an award-winning educational tool that introduces concepts of electrical circuitry in a very accessible way.  To learn more about littleBits, please click here.)

All involved enjoyed themselves.  Ecole Central is looking forward to more Maker activities in the fall! Have a happy summer, everyone!

Northern Opportunities Receives an Award from The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference

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By , June 16, 2017

The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference awarded Northern Opportunities for its efforts.

Northern Opportunities logo

Northern Opportunities, a partnership group that School District 60 (Peace River North) is part of, received an award last week from The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.  Delegates from across the country travelled to our school district to learn about the Northern Opportunities partnerships, a unique blend of industry and educational stakeholders.

The mission of Northern Opportunities is to build “a strong and vibrant workforce for northeast B.C.” by developing educational programs and opportunities that empower the young people of northeast B.C. to prepare and train for occupations locally so that when they enter the workforce, they are equipped to do so locally.  Students are “trained in the north to stay in the north.”

Other members of Northern Opportunities include: BC Hydro, BCIT, CNRL, Chalo School/Fort Nelson First Nation, Encana, the Ministry of Education, NENAS, NDIT, Northern Lights College, Shell, Spectra, and Peace River South and Fort Nelson School Districts (59 and 81, respectively).

To learn more about The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, please click here.

Annual Spark Conference for Women’s Leadership & Career Development

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By , June 1, 2017

The annual Spark Conference for women’s leadership and career development occurred last month at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre in Fort St. John. I had the pleasure of attending as an “Angel” attendee, representing career education for School District 60 (Peace River North).

Attendance at this event and events similar to this have shaped my vision for and execution of our district’s own young women’s career and leadership conference, which happened last week- Wednesday, May 24, at Northern Lights College. That event was called The Road Less Travelled.

Artwork by graphic designer, Bob Mack of Urban Systems; photography by Cassia Lawrence Photography

Credit: Cassia Lawrence Photography

The raising up of young women is important work. A regret I have about my attendance this year was that we didn’t have enough time to gather a group of young women from North Peace Secondary School or other district schools to join me as other fellow Angel attendees. In conversation with one of the members of the Spark steering committee, I learned that the conference would like to see more engagement from younger, school-aged women.

I often find that in this life, one never knows what opportunities might be available until one asks. The Angel sponsor program enables people who might not otherwise be able to attend the conference to put in an application in writing to have their conference fees sponsored by local industry leaders. A potential plan for next year would be to canvas local schools well before the conference to get high school aged young ladies to also put their names in for Angel sponsorship. We could then all attend together, representing School District 60.

(Thank you to Cassia Lawrence for permission to publish her photos on this site.)

The Road Less Travelled Young Women’s Career Conference a Wonderful Success

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By , May 29, 2017

The Road Less Travelled is a career conference for grade nine girls.

School District 60 experienced a unique, inspirational learning event for its young ladies last week, with the first ever The Road Less Travelled Young Women’s Career Conference.  Grade nine female students from across the district were invited to convene to listen to the life stories of local, female role models and gather career choice insights. After, students spread apart to different breakout room options before reconvening for a group networking lunch.

Northern Lights College graciously provided the venue space and the writing supplies for the students.  Recognition is also provided to the following people and organizations for helping to make the day a wonderful success.

  • Judy Kucharuk, Manager of Special Events, Encana Events Centre
  • Laura Prosko, Community Services Director, District of Taylor
  • Mayor Lori Ackerman, City of Fort St John
  • Rayel Cooper, Operator, Shell Canada Ltd
  • Rae Evans, Division Director, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
  • Kristi Pimm, Co-owner, Alpha Controls
  • Alycia Calkins, Jasmine Giesbrecht, Alexandria Mackey & Selena Wiebe from MNP
  • Chelsy Cooper from Epscan Ltd.
  • Jenna Felske from Northern Lights College
  • Aimee McCrae from Northern Lights College
  • Pam Eales from the Industry Training Authority

If you missed the event and would like to see the program, please click this file, Program Handout – Road Less Travelled (Blog).

Judy Kucharuk hosted the event.

 

A Week of Unique Learning – The Northern Opportunities Energy Week Tour

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By , May 15, 2017

NPSS students Mathew A., Harvansh S., Allyana B., Jessica D., Brandon G., and Alex M. pose for one last group shot before we dismissed from an exhausting week of heavy learning!

Mathew A. from NPSS tries his hand at stick welding.

This is a view of the Peace River valley. During the BC Hydro presentation, we learned that his portion of the river will not be subject to flooding.

Riley S. from Chetwynd Secondary School winds up for a swing during our golf mentorship event. Riley was partnered with Jennifer from Shell.

It was School District 60’s pleasure to welcome students from across the Peace region and beyond, including special guests who travelled from School District 78 (Fraser-Cascade). Students and education staff from Agassiz, Hope, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John convened to take part in the truly unique educational field trip called the Northern Opportunities Energy Week Tour.

It was a very active week; students climbed up a wind energy tower and welded at Northern Lights College. They walked around oil and gas drilling well sites. They learned about the BC Hydro Site C dam project. They toured Tervita, Shell, Progress Energy, and Encana facilities. They ate lunch at Encana Sunset Prairie Lodge and had a taste of what life at camp is really like. On top of it all, students got to try their hands at nine holes of golf at Lone Wolf Golf Club, while learning about the lives and careers of men and women who volunteered their time and their voices to mentor the kids about their own potential career paths.

Many, many thanks go out to all who participated in the week- from the drivers who transported us safely, to the hands who prepared our meals, to the workers who enlightened us with information- we thank you.

To Parents & Guardians – The Road Less Travelled Young Women’s Career Conference

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By , May 5, 2017

Dear parents and guardians of S.D. 60 (Peace River North)’s grade nine daughters,

Please find linked below an informational letter about this exciting and unique career discovery and exploration event happening Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

The event will be at Northern Lights College (local campus), beginning at 9:45am.  Please click on the letter to learn more.  Please send it back to school with your student.

Road Less Travelled Permission Letter

An image taken from the permission form

An image taken from the permission form

A female with chest broadened against a sunset backdrop.

Bert Bowes Grade 7 Students Exposed to Career Pathway Programs at FSJ Campus of Northern Lights College

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By , April 26, 2017

Bert Bowes students were treated this month to experiential learning opportunities outside of their regular school routines. They met and heard from a variety of college personnel, from the greeting, smiling faces of student services, to current dual credit students in a number of different programs, to high-ranking college administrators, and many more in between.

Arguably, this is exactly what kids need- learning experiences outside of the four walls of the classroom, interacting with people who actually do the tasks they may be interested in pursuing, in their daily work environments.

Thanks are in order for the recruiting team at Northern Lights College for arranging all the activities for the kids, and organizing pizza lunches. Thank you to all those who spent time with our kids; enlightening young people on future career options is important work. Finally, thanks to Ms. Singer and Ms. Bennett, Bert Bowes teachers, for being fantastic sports about the tour idea.

If you are a teacher and would like a tour for your class, please contact Bonnie Bridges at bbridges@prn.bc.ca. If you are a high school student, Northern Lights has a program called Student for a Day, in which you live a day in the life of a college student, giving you an idea of what classes and life at the campus would be like. Please contact an NLC recruiter here for more information.

NLC is proud of its commitment to dual credit students; we are too!

Grade 7 students meet and talk with college students, instructors, and administrators.

Grade 7 students meet and talk with college students, instructors, and administrators.

Andy Amboe, electrical program instructor of the FSJ campus of NLC enthusiastically teaches the kids about plasma!

Andy Amboe, electrical program instructor of the FSJ campus of NLC enthusiastically teaches the kids about plasma!

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