Say Yes to Possibility
In Grade 1, students have been exploring how structures connect people and communities, and have been using their research skills to understand how structures are built.
After twenty years of teaching in six different schools, I have worked with thousands of students of various ages, in various settings, and have always hoped that I'm making a positive impact in these young peoples' lives. Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) is the first school where I regularly see tangible evidence of this positive impact because it is the first place I've taught where it is the norm for student-teacher relationships to extend beyond the student's Grade 12 year; and where it is the norm for teachers and students to share life experiences.
Earlier this month seven STS students, from Elementary and Middle School, participated in the city-wide Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF), held at the University of Calgary Olympic Oval on April 5 and 6. This annual competition encourages and promotes ongoing interest for scientific principles and methods.
Technology-integrated learning at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir (STS) focuses on the 5 C's: collaboration, communication, critical thinking and computational thinking. The STS curriculum teaches students to be digitally-literate through the introduction of the fifth 'C', computational thinking. STS recognizes that proper technology integration and education is about the design of the learning experiences that not only help students strengthen their digital abilities, but to also help students think critically about what tool best enables their learning in different situations.
The unit of inquiry “How the World Works” is taught throughout all grades at STS. For Grade 5 in particular, the unit focuses on how technology can be used to solve problems.
Computational thinking is a fundamental skill that is developed through the STS curriculum – a skill where students view the completed product and work backwards to fully understand the process leading to the finished product. As part of this skill, students must understand the five steps of the design cycle –ask questions, imagine, plan, create, and improve. These steps guide students as they design a solution to a problem.
In support of this season's winter giving campaign, STS collected goods for Stephen's Backpacks Society. An initiative that began 10 years ago in Calgary, Stephen's Backpack offers hope in a Christmas backpack gift for children in need.
This year, being committed to our own journey of Reconciliation, STS dedicated part of Marti McKay Week to hosting artists who spoke to our students about the impacts and legacy of Residential Schools in Canada as well as about the resiliency of Indigenous peoples.
This past June, Hassan K. ’25 and his brother Khalil K. ’23 attended the annual general meeting of the RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada). They were presenters at the meeting and were going to present their projects. Khalil had done his project in 2017 and Hassan had done his this year. Both projects were presented at the CYSF (the Calgary Youth Science Fair) and won awards.
What can an 11-year-old do? Strathcona-Tweedsmuir’s Grade 6 students have proven that 11-year-olds can be the leaders of today’s generation through their achievements of the Primary Years Programme Exhibition.
On February 21, a group of nine elementary-age students (seven being from STS) participated in a local FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League, where they learned about robotics, team work and real-world problems
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 left inspired after hearing the creative and engaging presentations by Carolyn Fisher - local artist, illustrator, and author during Marti McKay Week 2017.