Across the Boards - Winter 2019 Feature

Ottawa Carleton District School Board

OCDSB Promotes STEAM at School, Home, and Play

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Adel Chehouri

Scratch, Processing, Ozobot, and Micro:Bit may not be part of your daily vocabulary but for thousands of OCDSB students it's a language they know and use in everyday life, in school, and at home. Just over 50 OCDSB schools participated in this year's Hour of Code. Hour of Code began as a one-hour introduction to computer science. The goal was to take the fear out of "code", and prove anybody can learn the basics. And in the process demonstrate the field of computer science is both vast and fascinating. Many OCDSB schools took the opportunity to marry the Hour of Code and Computer Science Week with broader school objectives.

Half Moon Bay Elementary School in Ottawa, decided to take coding from the classroom to the community and held a "Crack the Code" Math Night designed to introduce elements of coding to parents. Erin O'Grady, Vice-Principal Business & Learning Technologies believes by reaching out to parents you are able to build learning partnerships with families in your school community. While at the same time, introducing an innovative and unique way to focus on the fundamentals of mathematics.

Half Moon Bay Teacher, Adel Chehouri understands our digital world is expanding at a rate many find overwhelming, exciting and intriguing – all at the same time. As an educator, he is passionate about integrating technology into all lessons. He attempts to find opportunities for students to explore student-directed learning based on STEM or STEAM tasks and activities. Thus developing creative and confident learners.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Adel Chehouri

Mr. Chehouri says, "STEAM brings out that innovative and imaginative spark in his students. While, parents are witnessing their children's perseverance, resiliency, and problem-solving skills." That once dreaded question, "What did you learn at school today?" has become a pleasant conversation around the dinner table. Students are eager to tell their families what they learned, what they created, and what the next steps are.

Half Moon Bay Principal, Aisling O'Donnell added, 'Parents play a major role in their child's learning, their guidance is crucial for their educational growth and most importantly their confidence and self-esteem." She feels STEAM based projects promote family communication and encourage our students, our staff and our community to access, analyze, critique and connect in a global digital world.

STEAM is here to stay and the team at Half Moon Bay couldn't be happier!

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