Recognition, far and wide

SMUS-Views-Bob

When Grade 11 student Ann Makosinski was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Top 30 under 30” who will change the world (for her winning the Google Science Fair with her flashlight without batteries), we were very proud of her. She is not the only flower that blooms in our soil, however, as any viewer of our website will discover. Just so you are aware of the breadth and depth of excellence that sprouts around here, here are a few more examples:

Tessa Owens, Grade 11: Tessa is just finishing an expedition in Antarctica as part of “Students on Ice”. You can read about this amazing experience here, and about Tessa in particular here.

Olivia Sorley, Grade 12: Olivia won first prize in the Senior Student category in the Victoria Film Festival for her short film “For an Adventure”. Her short film includes footage of her service trip to India, which she and several students took last Spring Break. To learn more Watch this video of a student-led chapel session about the trip and read a reflection from David Boroto.

Our Geography Department: Five years ago ESRI – the Environmental Systems Research Institute – gave its national Award of Excellence, selected from nominees taken from all fields of endeavour – business, industry, planning, government and more – to two of our teachers, Kirsten Davel and Cheryl Murtland. We just received word that because of the ongoing work of our Geography Department, the School has been awarded a new award by ESRI, as part of a grant program for K-12 schools to provide industry-leader Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software (ArcGIS), as well as a web-based content management system (ArcGIS Online), and training and support to enable teachers to easily apply GIS to learning in the classroom. We are the second school in Canada to be awarded this grant which includes two years of complimentary maintenance on the system, training sessions for all interested faculty and staff, and educational support for teachers as they integrate GIS into the classroom. The grant program aims to increase geo-spatial literacy across the curriculum for 21st Century learning and application in the workforce.

In response to the award, Kirsten Davel, our Geography Department Head, says, “I applied for the grant in the hopes that we could upgrade our learning to ArcGIS Online and did not realise how big this grant was!  I am so thrilled that we have been given this opportunity and that ESRI Canada is reaching beyond the scope of the geography classroom, as GIS has application in every discipline and is rapidly becoming commonplace in government, business, education, and everyday life.”

Just as meaningfully, five years ago when she won the first award, Kirsten observed the power GIS gives to us all, and to our students, in addressing critical issues that face the world. Looking at her students at that time, she said, ““What I see looking back at me, are these faces, you and your classmates. I see hope.”

The world is in good hands.

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden is Head of School at St. Michaels University School.

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