Author Archives: Ian Fogarty
I always thought that you had to have the movement before the video, but they helped me to understand that the making of the video is also the start of the movement. We had such great success last year that our students lamented, “Why can’t every student in Atlantic Canada have such an educational experience?”
So we want to make a longer documentary to show the shift in Culture when students get a personalized, trans-disciplinary education that solves real world problems. It builds the competencies and contributes to the Profile of a Learner that we hope to have in our graduates and our citizens.
We are invited to the European Maker Faire. It is important to prove to our students and the general public that we CAN compete on the world scale, even though we are from small town New Brunswick. We are developing Innovators who know that their learning and hard work can make a direct impact on the world; that they have the power and the responsibility to make a difference.
Most of the team is female, which will certainly be an anomaly in the maker/engineering world. We are excited to showcase how we are changing the perception of engineering that is attracting so many girls to make a difference.
To get ready for ROME, they will need to do grant writing, sew table clothes, design and print posters, translate brochures, practice their elevator pitches in both English and French and perhaps even a bit of Italian.
We have already started selling customized laser engraved Swell-like water bottles, but this will not be enough to get us to where we need to go.
Please contact us if we can make some bottles for your organization.
This week, as we prepare for the arrival of students, thinking about preparing our students for an unknown future, the NB Dept of Education spent some time thinking about the Profile of a Learner to encourage the Global Competencies,and strategies such as Student Agency.
Current Generation was one of three projects in NB used to demonstrate student Agency.
I think it is fantastic that Bessborough Middle school, lead by my one time student teacher and now friend, Nick Mattatall. was mentioned in the Garden Project. Something is happening in Moncton area and Anglophone East School District.
Today was the opening day of the Innovative Labs Schools. Students connected with teachers around the world to deliver content. Jane Goodall was in attendance and National Geographic was there to film. Congrats to our friends Koen Timmers, Michael Soskil and Jennifer Williams.
Last night, two of my students spoke at TED-X Moncton Youth. I am fortunate to interact with both Beth and Skye almost daily through www.CurrentGeneration.org. This blog post focuses on SKYE who credits Current Generation as a contributor to helping her to discover and be confident in her super powers.
Skye Ables (grade 12) spoke about her journey as a “smart girl” going through the school system, hiding who she was inside, uncertain of her talents, trying to live up to social expectations both locally and in the media without any real female STEM role models. She talks about the moment she realized that she wanted to be an engineer, the moment she realized that she was acting as a role model for the next generation of young female engineers and urges us all to contribute positively to the education of females around the world. While it is true that globally, there is much work to do, locally, we still have a long way to go if we are going to be sustainable.
The CBC did a little profile on each of the speakers.
Last night, TEX-Moncton let students steal the stage. We were fortunate to have two high school students be on stage, Beth and Skye. I am most fortunate to be connected to them both through www.CurrentGeneration.org
This post focuses on Beth. While she does not speak directly about Current Generation in her TED-X Talk, Current Generation is the kind of issue and program that allows freedom for students that she urges at the end. Well done and thank Beth.
Beth Stevens (grade9) spoke about being motivated to learn when the learning is in the context of solving real problems for real people. There is something special that happens when the work is authentic. Motivation for learning increases, multi and transdisciplinary learning happens, and students gain self-confidence because the find they have an important place in the world, perhaps contributing to more positive mental health. The project that excited her was around Bike Safety and Ellen’s law which urged her to create a safety light, which she now sells. She urges adults to teach current events so that students will be aware of the issues and provide space for them to DO something about it, not just make a trifold poster with a rubric. She urges kids to take a chance, learn for real purpose and not worry so much about the grade on a project, but to focus on the grade of a society and the grade of our planet. If we are going to live sustainable lives, there are lots of problems out there to solve, including climate change and plastics.
The CBC did a little profile on each of the speakers.
Beth Stevens STEM project from Middle School is now being sold at the markets on Saturdays. The Moncton CBC interviewed her last week.
Riverview teen invents ‘Beth’s A Metre Matters Bike Light’
Beth Stevens was inspired by Ellen’s Law and is now selling her STEM project at the Moncton Market
CBC News · Posted: May 11, 2019 8:00 AM AT | Last Updated: May 11
A student from Riverview High School has come up with an invention to help cyclists and motorists share the road safely.
Beth Stevens, who is 15 years old, has developed a light that shows a motor vehicle driver how much clearance a bike needs when they pass it.
The light is attached to the bottom left side of the bike frame and has to be angled to illuminate the road over a distance of one metre.
“It would be hard to tell, if you’re driving, how long one metre is,” said Stevens.
“If you’re in the light it means they’re too close.”
When positioned properly the light also ensures a cyclist is visible to drivers.
“That way, if they aren’t giving the metre, they can’t say, ‘Oh, I didn’t see the cyclist,’ because that’s a big issue.”
Stevens said she tries to get out and cycle as much as she can because it’s good exercise and good training for the other sports that she does.
She came up with the idea for “Beth’s A Metre Matters Bike Light” as a school STEM project. The challenge was to use science, technology, engineering and mathematics to solve a real-world problem.
While she was doing research, there was a lot of talk in the news about Ellen’s Law.
The provincial law was brought in after the death of up-and-coming competitive cyclist Ellen Watters, who was struck during a training run in the Sussex area.
Vehicles in New Brunswick are now required to keep at least a metre away while overtaking a cyclist.
The penalty for not doing so is a $172.50 fine and the loss of three driving points.
Her first prototype used a 12-volt, 12-pound battery, said Stevens. It had “a bunch of wires” and a switch that attached to a bike’s handle bars.
“It was very made-in-your-garage. It was fun to make but it was also really impractical.”
She refined her invention over the course of multiple entrepreneurship challenges and with the help of her parents and Riverview High science teacher Ian Fogarty.
The latest version is a USB rechargeable red light, that has a little button on top and five different modes — low, mid and high-beam (“kind of like your car”), flashing and strobe.
Stevens recommends strobe mode during the day and steady beam at night. She said the light shines toward the ground so it shouldn’t be blinding or distracting to drivers.
“After you’re out for a ride, you can just plug it into your iPhone or computer charger and just get it all juiced up and then go back out again.”
“I think it’s brilliant,” said Simon Dubé, executive director of La Bikery bike co-op in Moncton.
Dubé said things have improved in the last few years, but he still gets cut off frequently. And even the drivers who seem to want to give him clearance don’t always do it well enough.
“They give us maybe … two feet. To have that light is a gentle, passive reminder that this is one metre. This is what it looks like. And you have to respect it.”
Matt Savage of Savage’s Bicycle Centre in Fredericton said he also likes the concept. He’s seen some similar products in recent years that use laser lights to draw lines on both sides of a bike.
Many bike lights use strobe effects, he said, and he’s never heard of any safety issues from them.
Stevens is currently sourcing her lights overseas but is looking for a New Brunswick manufacturer.
So far, they’re selling well among friends and family members.
“My grandfather took five lights this weekend and he sold them to all my relatives. So, he says that he’s my new sales rep.”
And Stevens was encouraged by the interest from customers at the Moncton Market.
“I got a great reaction and I’m super happy about that,” she said.
She plans to return today and next Saturday.