Embryonic Engineers – Deep Learning

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - By: David McCarthy

There is much talk in teaching today about “problem-based” and “hands on” learning. Collaboration is another buzzword as is “authentic”, meaning connected to the real world as opposed to purely academic. Some of the best examples of this can be found in our newly formed Senior Engineering class which operates in the arts afternoon and is an offshoot of Creative Science.

These budding engineers have been working on a variety of individualized projects over the course of the year under the watchful eyes of science teacher Scott Doehler and parent volunteer Bob Crabtree. The projects have been very diverse ranging from a machine designed to fold clothing to a robot that launches tennis balls. In recent weeks, students have also formed an embryonic engineering “club” which meets on Wednesdays before prep to plan and build a wind turbine which will generate electricity when installed atop the Ross building.

Peter Jacquemin, a local man and former aerospace engineer, has been assisting in this club and the small group of enthusiastic students, mostly in Grade 10, has learned a great deal already through his advice. A group of students recently met with some faculty from the University of Victoria to develop a similar club based around marine biology and oceanography.

Part of our vision at the school is to allow students to engage in “deep learning” through interaction with experts in a particular field and through their own research. We will be inviting parents and alumni to join us in this process next year, as it demands a great deal of mentoring and time from adult sponsors to be successful.

Mr. David McCarthy, Director of Academics

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