And the Golden Beaker goes to …

Sunalta School’s Grade 6 Class!

Congratulations again to Calgary’s Sunalta School who were today named Atomic 13 Ingenuity Challenge Champions! Presenting them with the Golden Beaker was Beakerhead Co-founder Jay Ingram, who surprisingly was upstaged by six-graders Finn and Sabina who emceed the all-school and media presentation.

Sunalta School emcees and headmaster. Photo by Denise Kitagawa

Emcees Sabina and Finn with Principal Trevor Barkley and Teacher Karen Anderson and Jay Ingram. Photo by Denise Kitagawa

Kudos to the 46 Grade 6 students who competed amongst 8,000 Alberta-based students from 108 schools.

Grade 6 receive the Golden Beaker. Photo by Denise Kitagawa
Grade 6 receive the Golden Beaker. Photo by Denise Kitagawa

Hands Up If You Wanna Go On An Excursion!

In these bleak midwinter days, it is no wonder that you raised your hands to go on a field trip. Beakerhead has too! And on February 12 and 13, Beakerhead will have a mini-field trip to the Calgary City Teachers Convention, where we’ll be sharing busloads about this year’s Beakerhead Field Trips!

2,200 students from 18 schools explored Little Big Street and climbed in, on and around different structures that were built to solve specific social and environmental challenges.

Field trips are open to Calgary and area students and give students the opportunity to learn about creative-problem solving in novel and unique ways. Participating schools receive educational support materials with curriculum links prior to the field trip to help guide and enrich their learning.

Photo by: Denise Kitagawa
Photo by: Denise Kitagawa

SO DO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR GRADE 4 AND UP CLASS GO ON A BEAKERHEAD FIELD TRIP?

Ted Harrison Grade 8 Students Win Beakerhead Ingenuity Challenge

Reprinted from Calgary Board of Education blog.

Congratulations to Grade 8 students at Ted Harrison School on their award-winning submission to the Atomic 13 Ingenuity Challenge, an annual creative design competition that is part of Beakerhead. Beakerhead is a week-long smash-up of art, science and engineering.

Students from Ted Harrison won first-place for their project, “Light Juggler,” a stunning light painting combining the art and science of photography, light and optics. Their challenge was to take a large roll of aluminum foil to collaboratively design and build creative projects based on the theme “things are not what they seem.”

Jay Ingram, co-host of Discovery Channel’s science show, Daily Planet for 16 years, presented them with the Golden Beaker Award, and then spent time meeting with all of the design teams to discuss their creative processes.

To create “Light Juggler,” students thought carefully about Beakerhead’s mission to combine science, technology, and art. They engineered a globe of spinning foil, attached LEDs and glow-sticks, composed and framed the set, and adjusted the camera settings to achieve a long exposure capturing light in a darkened space. The student in the photo was then dressed in aluminum foil, and was photographed in a series of images and test shots. For each image, the ball was spun, and the student remained as still as possible as the photo was being taken. Multiple exposures were taken before achieving the one that would become “Light Juggler” – creating something beautiful out of something physically impossible, and therefore, not what it seems.

Grade 8 teachers viewed Beakerhead as an opportunity to kick-start the school year by inviting students to show curiosity and creativity in their learning. Through their Beakerhead experiences, and participation in the Atomic 13 Ingenuity Challenge, students appeared more confident in their abilities to explore and discover possibilities for learning that exist beyond the school walls. “Light Juggler” is evidence of the power of exploration, experimentation, and the freedom to create in an environment co-designed by teachers and students.

A ‘Tremendous and Curious World’ of Learning

[reprinted with permission by Brian Simmons and Calgary Board of Education]

Part of 182 Days of Learning … Day 14: Brian Simmons, Learning Leader, Twelve Mile Coulee

I need to make a confession: I’m perplexed by the concept of Maker Education.

Recently, both personally and professionally, I was immersed in both the ‘Tremendous and Curious World of Beakerhead’ (@Beakerheadbeakerhead.com) and the Calgary Mini Maker Faire (@MakerFaireYYC) and I know I’m not alone in being fascinated by the group of people that shared their creations at these events. Creations that didn’t necessarily make the world a better place but instead reflected the passion and vision of the people who designed them.

It is obvious that makers believe in having the freedom to create what they want, when they want. The amount of learning buried within the final product of their efforts is likely beyond measure. Makers live in a world of personal challenge and growth. A world in which they are constantly learning and developing new skills within the process of creation. A world that I find myself wanting to be a part of and one in which I want to be leader for my students.

Here, however, is where I become unsure: How can we, as educators and learners, capture this spirit in the classroom?  Do we not run the risk ‘co-opting the concept of making’ (quote via @dana_pal) by restricting the students’ ideas with assessment criteria and task requirements?  

Despite the inner turmoil, there are things I am certain about; I know for sure that I’ve always been interested in the idea of making in the classroom, well before the label was created. I also know that I now believe that maker education is as much about design thinking as it is the Maker Movement. I believe in freedom of expression within the classroom and I’ve learned that the open feel of making can be created through careful task design and a deep understanding of your learners.

Yet, I remain unsure about the concept of maker education.

And that’s a good thing.

This confusion is creating a beautiful tension that is driving me to think; thinking about the inclusion of big ideas around constructionism within the context of curriculum and how to honour the ideals of making while ensuring individual learning is captured in a clear and concise manner.

So, what have I learned? I’ve learned I’m drawing closer to the edge of understanding being developed through the active exploration of these ideals. It’s both scary and exhilarating, filled with challenges that promise personal rewards in the weeks to come. 

After all, isn’t that what making is all about?

Video from Crackmacs

Read more at: http://cbe182.weebly.com/the-stories/day-14-brian-simmons-learning-leader-twelve-mile-coulee#sthash.JV1ckd4U.dpuf

Unveiling the Universe

Everyone is invited to celebrate the official unveiling of Bridgeland’s newest science-inspired artwork, Langevin Universe. For months, the entire student body at Langevin Science School has been working with an artist in their classroom, Charlie Johnston, to create a multi-facetted mural. Join Beakerhead in celebrating these student’s achievements in an interactive event that includes student-led tours and a science-based scavenger hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Students unveil a solar-powered, modern day phone booth

MEDIA RELEASE

Students unveil a solar-powered, modern day phone booth

Today, 12 students taking part in the Beakerhead Summer Intensive, a three-week course (July 4 to 24, 2014) led by educators from the Calgary Board of Education and open to students from all school districts, gave a sneak peek of their creation which will be shown during Beakerhead this September 10 – 14, 2014.

This group of ambitious high school students traded in their summer sandals for lab coats to collaborate on a creative engineered project. Using skills from math and physics to drawing and fabrication, they have built a solar charging station – a modern version of a phone booth.
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In the spirit of “Not what it seems,” the students from this year’s Summer Intensive are creating beautiful installations out of CDs.
In the spirit of “Not what it seems,” the students from this year’s Summer Intensive are creating beautiful installations out of CDs.

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Boys in white coats planning out their design and build.
Boys in white coats planning out their design and build.

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Not-so-mini-makers are finalizing the details before they assemble their Summer Intensive project: a solar-powered, peddle-powered phone booth!
Not-so-mini-makers are finalizing the details before they assemble their Summer Intensive project: a solar-powered, peddle-powered phone booth!

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Click here for more downloadable pictures. On Tumblr – click here.

Beakerhead is a made-in-Calgary initiative that brings together creativity and technology to create a five-day, hands-on spectacle for all ages. Participants build, engage, compete and exhibit interactive works of art and engineered entertainment. It runs this year from September 10 to 14, 2014.

Media Contact Michelle Htun-Kay, Media and Communications Director, Beakerhead (403) 830-1668 or michelle@beakerhead.com

MEDIA ADVISORY: Students unveiling a solar-powered, modern day phone booth

MEDIA ADVISORY

Students unveiling a solar-powered, modern day phone booth

A group of ambitious high school students have traded in their summer sandals for lab coats to collaborate on a creative engineered project. Using skills from math and physics to drawing and fabrication, they have built a solar charging station – a modern version of a phone booth.

The media is invited to a sneak peek of the creation and to meet the 12 students taking part in the Beakerhead Summer Intensive, a three-week course (July 4 to 24, 2014) led by educators from the Calgary Board of Education and open to students from all school districts.

Beakerhead is a made-in-Calgary initiative that brings together creativity and technology to create a five-day, hands-on spectacle for all ages. Participants build, engage, compete and exhibit interactive works of art and engineered entertainment. It runs this year from September 10 to 14, 2014.

Details:

WHAT Unveiling of an engineered art creation made by Calgary high school students

WHEN Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

WHERE CBE Career and Technology Centre (2336 53 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta)

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW

  • Jovan Vujinovic, Teacher and Leader at Beakerhead Summer Intensive, CBE
  • Katie Varney, Education Programs Manager, Beakerhead
  • Participating high school students

 

VISUALS A large engineered art structure and high-energy high school students involved in the Beakerhead Summer Intensive, in a construction shop environment

* * *

Media Contact

Michelle Htun-Kay, Media and Communications Director, Beakerhead (403) 830-1668 or michelle@beakerhead.com

Beakerhead Summer Intensive for High School Students

An enthusiastic group of high schools students will be busy this July designing, prototyping and building a collaborative project to be presented at Little Big Street. Students will earn high school credits, but this course is anything but your average summer school experience. Students will have the opportunity to work with a team of Beakerhead mentors, including artists, engineers, scientists, fabricators and designers, who will help them bring their ideas to life.

Beakerhead Summer Intensive Registration and Orientation

Calling all students! Are you interested students getting some school credits while building something delightful this summer to be showcased at Beakerhead in September? Join us at the Beakerhead Registration / Orientation Session. At the meeting, you’ll have the chance to meet Beakerhead’s Education Program Manager, your new teacher and ask questions about the program. You can also register for the summer intensive to secure your spot!

Is it Summer Intensive yet?!

The suspense is killing us! We can’t wait for this year’s Beakerhead Summer Intensive! We caught up with the teacher extraordinaire who ran the course last year, Jovan Vujinovic. Is he dying to get started too?! (psst – he’s back).

 

Beakerhead: What are you looking forward to the most?

Jovan: There are a lot of things that I am excited about when it comes to the summer intensive but if I need to drill down to one thing it has to be the student energy that is generated during those three weeks. You have students who, every day, are fully immersed in a project that they design and create. My role, as teacher, is to be guide and sounding board. The atmosphere is unique and powerful; you can feel the creativity and innovation in the group.

 

Beakerhead: What are you hoping to improve upon, if anything, based up what you learned last year?

Jovan: Any time you facilitate a project you look to make improvements. Our students from last year’s intensive had some excellent feedback and we have listened. The three weeks will see some exciting upgrades. The cool thing about this project is that it is student driven so we are deliberately going to increase exposure about the course with a speaker series. I think this exposure will both set the stage for students, and generate more student interest. The goal is to attract students with diverse skill sets. In a student-driven project, having a large tool box of skills is directly related to the overall experience will enrich the outcome for all students.

 

Beakerhead: Will the course be run again at the CBE’s Career and Technology Centre?

Jovan: Yes. We are very fortunate to be back at the Career & Technology Center at Lord Shaughnessy High School. This is a dynamic venue that provides different spaces for designing and creating using authentic tools. I think that is one of the key aspects to this experience – real tools and real skills!

 

Beakerhead: How does this experience tie into Alberta’s educational vision?

Jovan: This is a great question! One part of the Beakerhead Summer Intensive is that each student has the opportunity to earn three credits toward high school completion (in career and technology studies). Another aspect of the experience is its interdisciplinary approach to learning. If we look at Inspiring Education – Alberta’s Vision for Education there are an identified set of competencies that by 2030 an educated Albertan should be able to demonstrate.

They include:

*   the ability to know how to (they) learn

*   think critically, identify and solve complex problems

*   manage information

*   innovate

*   create opportunities

*   apply multiple literacies

*   demonstrate communication skills

*   global cultural understandings

*   the ability to identify and apply career and life skills

 

During the Summer Intensive students act as co-designers of their learning; they are positioned to develop these competencies during every facet of the project. To see students grow and develop their skills is exciting but what is more rewarding is to see that at the end of the Summer Intensive students are able to identify these same skills as areas where they have grown. Students last year viewed the Summer Intensive as a place where much of what they learned in the school year was now applicable. They are then excited to return to school in September and employ these developed skills.

We couldn’t be more jazzed to have Jovan back at the helm. If you know a student who may be interested in participating (how could you not after getting to know this teacher?) Check it out!

The Beakerhead Summer Intensive will take place over 14 days in July from July 3 – 24, with a project visioning session scheduled for June 21. Sign up and register here.


 

After last year’s success, CBE Teacher & Learning Leader, Jovan Vujinovic, will again teach the Summer Intensive course. He has a passion for project-based teaching, technology integration and seeking out innovative ways to empower his students to take ownership of their own applied learning.

 

by Stacey Ibach

Media Advisory: Beakerhead school program launch

Beakerhead is inviting teachers to test a new Pop Tart launcher created by Calgary artist and machinist, Kirk Dunkley, at the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention this week.

Shooting a Pop Tart at a target is one of several interactive attractions organized by Beakerhead as part of its 2014 school program launch held in conjunction with the teachers’ convention.

Beakerhead brings together art, science and engineering in an effort to engage a wide range of students in math, technology, art, design and science. In 2013, more than 4,600 students took part in Beakerhead events. The target is to reach twice that in 2014.

The art, science and engineering spectacle that is Beakerhead will take place in the streets and venues of Calgary on September 10-14, 2014. Related school programs operate during the school year, leading up to the annual event.

WHAT: Beakerhead at the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention

WHEN: Thursday, February 13, 2014  (10 am – 12 pm for media availability or by appointment)

WHERE: TELUS Convention Centre, North Building, Main Floor, Room 110 

INTERVIEW

  • Katie Varney, Education Liaison, Beakerhead
  • Community of local makers from the Calgary Maker Foundation

VISUALS                

  • Pop Tart launcher in action!
  • Life-sized sandpit art by a robotic drawing machine.
  • Steampunk Rock Golem, a larger than life amorphous handcrafted creature.
  • Other Calgary Maker Foundation wonders, including wearable technology, 3D printers, and the chance to make your own interactive objects with sensors.

 

 Media Contact

Michelle Htun-Kay

1-403-830-1668

michelle@beakerhead.com