Tag Archives: 2012/2013

Calgary Science School Professional Development

On May 24 to 26, the FLIGHT teachers had the opportunity for more professional development. Bryan Hughes, Petra Willemse, Nancy Roberts and Greg Hockley attended the ConnectEd Conference at the Calgary Science School.

ConnectEd is a different type of conference. Its focus is on creating connections and conversations on things happening in the world of education.  People from around Canada joined in on these conversations, and continued to build connections long after the conference.  It was also an opportunity to check out the classrooms of a very innovative school and bring ideas back to our own classrooms.

The FLIGHT team also hosted a session on our own program, so people could learn about running a project-based learning program within a public school.

As is always the case with these events, we learned a lot and have taken a lot away to think about. Thank you so much to Dr. David Overgaard for supporting our visit.



‘iPad Takes FLIGHT’ Again

The FLIGHT 10 students had a second opportunity to give their presentation ‘iPad Takes FLIGHT: 40 tips’ at the recent NVTA Professional Day at Carson Graham.

The event was open to all teachers in the District and our morning and afternoon sessions were completely filled up. The FLIGHT students did a great job sharing their tips and the audience truly appreciated how professionally the students handled themselves.

Presentations of Learning

On the evening of January 16, 2013, FLIGHT held out first presentations of learning night. FLIGHT students had prepared for this evening for months in advance, making sure their projects were ready for a wide audience.

FLIGHT 9 students were presenting their Shoebox of Exploration. Their shoeboxes contained artifacts that told the story of an exploration to a place new to them. They included maps, diaries and even photos of their fantastic journey.

FLIGHT 10 students were presenting their Truth of Memory project. The shadow boxes and stories were all posted on the walls of the Hangar.

We had a good turnout of parents, staff and even some our seniors from the Memory project. Dr. Overgaard also shared his comments on the year in FLIGHT so far.

Thank you to all the FLIGHT students who came and showed their work.

FLIGHT 10 Project

This Grade 10 FLIGHT project asked students to discover the truth in memory.

Students were paired with a classmate to interview a local senior. After the interview, students individually wrote a biographical narrative in the first person about one of their senior’s stories. Multiple drafts and more interviews later, students completed their stories.

At the same time, students also constructed a shadow box from wood, painted it, and created a visual representation of their story. A huge thanks to Mr. Gord Muter and Mr. Darcy Grant for helping in the wood shop.

Finally, students used VoiceThread to tell the story orally using their own narration and recordings from the interviews they conducted of the seniors. You can access their VoiceThread and leave your own comments by visiting the FLIGHT 10 student blogs.

All the products from this project are displayed beside the partner’s version of the same product. This was purposeful so we can reflect on how perspective can alter a narrative.

We want to thank the seniors who allowed us to interview them for this amazing opportunity. Please come by the FLIGHT Hangar to see the students’ hard work.

FLIGHT 9 Takes Over Seattle

November 2 was the date for our annual FLIGHT 9 day trip to Seattle. It is always a busy day, but this year’s trip was particularly jammed packed!

We left the school early (5 am!) with our bleary eyed grade 9’s on a full bus. Our first stop was the Future of Flight Aviation Center for our Boeing factory tour. This gave FLIGHT 9 a chance to see an assembly line in action – a process that relates to their science and social studies content.

Next, after a quick link at Seattle Center, we had free time to explore the EMP’s collection of science-fiction artifacts in preparation for their science-ficiton novel study.

A quick hop over to the Pacific Science Center and we all had an amazing chance to see the King Tut exhibition. This exhibit was probably the last time some of these artifacts will ever even leave Egypt. Students were well prepared for what they were going to see thanks to Seycove teacher, Esther Clark, who volunteered her time earlier this week to give a lecture to our FLIGHT 9 students on the topic of Egypt.

Another quick walk took us up the Seattle Space Needle to a wonderful panorama of the city.

Finally, after fighting with Seattle traffic, we made it to Golden Corral for a dinner stop on the way home.

A huge thanks to Ms. Erin Madsen, Ms. Vicki Digby and Ms. Esther Clark who accompanied FLIGHT teachers Ms. Petra Willemse and Mr. Bryan Hughes (Ms. Ireland, Ms. Strandt and Mr. Grant were unable to attend) on this epic day.

HTH Residency

In October, the FLIGHT teachers (without Mr. Grant who has a beautiful new baby boy to take care of!) were pleased to join several other teachers and administrators from the Seycove family of schools and attend the fall residency at High Tech High, in San Diego.

High Tech High operates eleven schools in San Diego County. All of these schools serve a diverse, lottery-selected student population; all embody the High Tech High design principles of personalization, adult world connection, common intellectual mission, and teacher as designer.

The fall residency focused on project-based learning and gave the Seycove family of schools team, and specifically our FLIGHT team, a chance to talk with HTH teachers and students about their projects they have done, and to learn about ways to support both students and colleagues through the processes of project tuning and critique.

This visit has truly been enlightening for all of us. It will take awhile to fully digest all the learning we have done!

FLIGHT Retreat at Camp Jubilee

One of the early ideas we had for FLIGHT was an off-site retreat to kick off the year. We wanted the FLIGHT students to get to know each other, get to know their teachers, and learn some key skills for the program. Back in the spring, we contacted Camp Jubilee and arranged to bring FLIGHT there in September.

Camp Jubilee is a perfect location, removed from the distractions of every day life, students and staff would be fully immersed in FLIGHT. We boarded their boat in two groups on September 19th and set off for three full days of activities!

Before we even went on the retreat, FLIGHT students were given a group task to complete relating to the first unit of study this term. The grade 9’s were researching famous explorers and completing an iMovie documenting their research. The grade 10’s were creating a genetically modified animal and exploring how they would adapt to Camp Jubilee’s climate zone. Through the retreat, students worked on this task and on the final day, we had a group unveiling!

But there was time for fun too. We had a variety of recreational activities led by the Camp Jubilee counsellors, accompanied by FLIGHT teachers. From canoeing across the inlet to the Powerhouse to archery, the FLIGHT students got their daily exercise!

Finally, we had nighttime activities as well. Students worked co-operatively to build a device to fling a ball as far as possible with given materials on the first night. This led to a raucous competition, with everyone cheering their team on to victory. On the second night, we had a campfire and a group movie under the stars.

And we can’t leave out the food. Camp Jubilee catered to all our dietary choices and gave enough good healthy food that even our hungriest FLIGHT students were full.

All in all, it was an awesome three days of fun, sun and learning. What a great way to start our FLIGHT year!

FLIGHT’s First Week

The first week of FLIGHT has been busy! To kick off our new program, we have done a lot of team building activities for both FLIGHT 9 and 10. This including culminating the first week with a class picnic at Cates Park.

With lots of help from Ms. Ireland and Ms. Strandt on preparing the food and Mr. Grant on organizing the team building activities, all the students had a great time learning, eating and sharing.

This is definitely a tradition we want to continue!

Excitement is Building (Literally!)

Excitement is building as our new FLIGHT room takes shape. Thanks to the determination of former Seycove principal, Karim Hachlaf, and our new principal Dr. David Overgaard, the District carpenters have been hard at work in the last week before our September opening to create a new room for FLIGHT.

The room, which was formerly Seycove’s main office before the big renovations back in 2000, is made up of two former small classrooms. By tearing down the non-structural wall, we are able to hold large group seminars, small work groups, and have space to move around!

Generously, Dr. Overgaard also allocated money to purchase new chairs and new tables that will facilitate use of the space. It is hoped that the room can be accessible for many different classes both inside and outside the timetable.

It will take time to complete all the details, like setting up projectors and speakers, but we look forward to using the new space from the first day of school!