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!

Announcing: The Road Less Travelled Young Women’s Career & Leadership Conference

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By , April 19, 2017

School District 60 is planning a motivational career event for young women in grade nine, called The Road Less Travelled, inspired by the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. We’re calling attention to the subjects of the underrepresentation of women in the trades workforce and women in roles that traditionally were held by men. We hope to inspire the next generation of women to be courageous in exploring their career options, and to not feel pigeonholed because of others’ attitudes or beliefs.

The theme to be explored during The Road Less Travelled is one on not being averse to failure as one traverses life’s path. Failures, when viewed under the lens of lessons learned, are arguably blessings. Life’s road twists and turns, oftentimes in unexpected directions.

The event will entail a keynote address as opener (Laura Prosko from the District of Taylor), followed by a panel conversation presentation moderated by Judy Kucharuk (Encana Events). Judy will be asking career questions of four female panelists who are experiencing success in employment fields historically dominated by men.  Other speakers will include Fort St. John Mayor, Lori Ackerman, Rae Evans of Investors Group, Kristi Pimm of Alpha Controls, Rayel Cooper (oil and gas), and Aimee McCrae of Northern Lights College.

  • When: 9:45 am – noon on Wednesday, May 24, 2017
  • Where: Atrium of Northern Lights College, Fort St John campus (near the lobby)

Please join us for a unique learning opportunity and a chance to come together as a community to engage with topics of social justice.  Please contact Bonnie Bridges at bbridges@prn.bc.ca for more information.

 

Northern Opportunities Energy Week Tour 2017 Now Accepting Expressions of Interest from Students

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By , April 18, 2017

This is an Energy Week promo poster used by S. D. 60 (Peace River North). Please click here to see a larger version of the image.

“The Peace region of Northeast BC has an abundance of ongoing energy projects, both completed and proposed.  These range from wind, solar, oil and gas to hydroelectric.

Students from throughout BC are invited to come to the Peace region to participate in the Northern Opportunities Tour. Students will experience what the jobs in the energy sector are like in Northeast BC.

The program runs from May 8 – 12, 2017 and consists of five days of learning about education and careers opportunities in the energy sectors of the Peace region. The experience is open for secondary students to tour local facilities and connect with industry and training mentors.”

For more information, or to register your student, please contact Bonnie Bridges at 250-262-6027 or bbridges@prn.bc.ca.

Peace Region students triumph at Skills Canada provincial competition

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By , April 11, 2017

NPSS students Jeridyn Loewen, Nicholas Page, Zachary Paradis, and Zachary Glenn won a silver medal in Robotics at the Skills Canada BC provincial competition this week. Photo by Eric Palibroda

Thirty students from SD59 and SD60 participated in the Skills Canada provincial competition in Abbortsford, and came away with Gold in jr. gravity vehicle and public speaking, Silver in both Robotics and Automotive Service Technician, and a Bronze in cabinetmaking. For more details, check out Energetic City’s article here.

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