2018 Seed Grant Update
Over the next few months we will be highlighting this year’s Seed Grant winners in the Journal. We again had many great applications and we wish we could fund even more, judging was a difficult but inspiring process. Today we have our first project overview by Kris Drohomereski from Ecole Edward Schreyer School as well as a submission from Antony Brouwer from Prairie Mountain High School.
Sphero Project at Ecole Edward Schreyer School
by Kris Drohomereski
The MANCE seed grant has been an amazing resource for my classroom and school. With the money I have received, I have been able to purchase 7 sphero minis for my classroom. The goal of my project is to help students learn code through play and project based learning. The first phase of the project is to introduce students to the spheros through play. We are currently playing games such as bowling, obstacle course races and maze navigating to build the student’s familiarity with the spheros. The next step will be to introduce basic code and collaboratively develop programs for morse code with a grade 6 class at École Edward Schreyer School. My dream is to test and share lessons on coding with other classes in the schools and make robotics and coding a part of every STEM class experience.
Digitize Your World at Prairie Mountain High School
by Antony Brouwer
PMHS is a small rural school, and it is difficult to offer the range of courses or access to materials that many other larger centres offer, particularly when it comes to technology. In an effort to combat this problem, we are turning our outdated and underused lab into a more multi-functional space. The purpose of this is to create a dynamic workspace, where the shifting needs of students and technology can be more easily adapted to . By focusing our resources into a single lab, we can maximize the impact of limited resources, purchasing specialized equipment that will give students valuable exposure to technology such as 3D printers, digitizers, and creation based software programs. On top of this effort, the creation of a school club focused on playful and engaging use of technology, will help to give students more opportunities to experience technology in a way that is directly connected to their needs and interests. All of this is tied in to the enhancement of our current course offerings, with ICT and Design Drafting receiving improved access to machines that are highly specialized.
by Abby Craton (Teacher Candidate – University of Manitoba)
Put simply, technology has revolutionized society. From the way we communicate with others, to the ways we can learn and access information, smartphones and other personal devices have entirely altered the way we, as humans, live. Though this comes with a multitude of obvious benefits for the economy, medicine, agriculture, business, education, and our social lives, there are many unintended consequences from the use of these tiny devices. Students need to understand the environmental, ethical, and social ramifications of their smartphones and personal devices, in order to be responsible citizens in the classroom, and in today’s world.
In the past decade, owning a smartphone has turned from an anomaly to a standard. Since 2007, when the first iPhone was released, over 7.1 billion smartphones have been produced and sold – a number almost as large as the population of the entire planet (Greenpeace International, 2017). By 2020, it is estimated that approximately 70% of the global population will have their own smartphone. However, the average individual only uses their smartphone for about two years, due to diminished battery life, unexpected damage, or social pressures to update to a newer model (Greenpeace International). This is having a massive impact on the planet, both in the energy required to continuously produce massive numbers of smartphones, and with the resulting waste that comes from their lack of reuse. Much of electronic waste, or e-waste, consists of metals and chemicals that are extremely damaging to the environment, and are having an effect on microscopic, plant, and animal life across the planet (Pulcu, 2015). According to a recent study by Mission-Blue, a charitable organization for ocean preservation, the number of dead zones in the ocean has increased 500-fold in the past 40 years, largely due to the presence of toxic chemicals from mobile industries’ waste (Pulcu, 2015). Combatting this issue is difficult, due to the huge social status that comes with having the latest smartphone.