Jane Goodall receives Current Generation Lights at Fundraiser for Innovative Labs Schools.

Jane Goodall receives Current Generation Lights at Fund raiser in Belgium for the Innovative Labs Schools.

Our friend Koen Timmers has partnered with the Jane Goodall Foundation to introduce Innovative Labs Schools that will bring modern teaching strategies and opportunities to remote villages. When their RV arrives at a village, they will have computers, interactive whiteboards and a world via the internet at their finger tips. They have devices and connectivity, but can only charge their devices when the RV is in town. What happens during the times between visits?

We are working towards the idea that Current Generation lights will be distributed to the remote villages and that BrightCases will be use to solar charge their laptops.

Connections Based Learning Book features Current Generation- March 2019

Connections-Base Learning is a book written by a friend of mine, Sean Robinson from BC, Canada. To me, it is something much deeper than the title of a book, but rather a description of our experience together that seems to have come full circle.

A few years ago, Sean and I used SKYPE to connect our students from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast. We showed them how to solder and sent them a little starter kit so that they could make a copy of the Colorado Lantern ( It was a great success, but we soon moved on to other projects and students lost touch with each other. I don’t think either of us knew how important this SKYPE would become.

Those of you who know me, know how slowly I read. So it was a big surprise to even me, when I started reading Sean’s Connections Based Learning book in almost one sitting. I started on the plane leaving Dubai and finished before landing in Moncton. I was entranced. I loved how he wrote, talking about his students and projects in a personal and practical way and combined it with theory that helps students connect, collaborate and cultivate.

When he told me that Engineering Brightness Canada (now was in the book, I expected a sentence and maybe a name drop. Little did I know that Engineering Brightness would show up in some depth and detail in almost every chapter through out the book. I did not know that small interaction began something special. I was so proud to play a small part in what is now their own international movement. They have also looked at making solar charged tablets and are partnering with a solar panel organization. The connections continue, because their partner is also our partner. Tony at Voltaic Systems managed to be connected to both of us- independently. I am so happy that Sean took something small, and made it his own project which has now seen lights in the Dominican and Uganda. More students in Canada are having an evolved Transdisciplinary educational experience and more people living in light poverty have access to clean light. Teachers and students learning through Connections.

Microsoft TransformED Blog Publishes Current Generation
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Microsoft TransformED published an article about some of the work that my students are doing. Please note, that I am one of 3 CO-FOUNDERS of Engineering Brightness including John Howe and Tracey Winey of Fort Collins, Colorado.

TransformEd Change Agents: Ian Fogarty

By Microsoft in Education Canada Team Posted on February 22, 2019 at 3:14 am

Three students work on laptops at a table, with the headline "TransformEd: Class of 2030"

For TransformEd, Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow Ian Fogarty shared his thoughts on a few of our questions about the Class of 2030. Ian is a chemistry and physics teacher, the co-director of SHAD at the University of New Brunswick, and one of the co-founders of, an organization that collaborates with students to impact light poverty. He has fantastic insights into student engagement, collaboration, and working with technology for good!


What are some of the most surprising outcomes of personalized learning in your classroom?It’s amazing where students will go if they can leverage a personal strength or passion to explore an area of insecurity and bring about long-lasting, deep learning that changes the trajectory of their lives. I personalize my students’ learning by conducting large semester projects in addition to my essential content and skills in physics and chemistry. I often begin by asking a few key questions. What do you do for fun? What do you want to do after high school? The answers help direct their project.
-Jay was excited by improv. He wrote, directed, and performed a Chemistry Road Show at local schools. Decades later, as a lead on Broadway, he recites chemical recipes and thermodynamics from high school.
-Cassie learned coding, 3D printing, and bioengineering to invent an inexpensive prosthetic suitable for her mom, who’s an amputee. It changed the direction of her life from music to mechatronic engineering.
-Timothy experienced such social anxiety that he had never given an oral presentation. Because of his passion for social justice around light poverty and the lights that he built in physics class, he spoke for 20 minutes with Anthony Salcito at ISTE Denver, presented a poster at Princeton IEEE STEAM, and gave an eloquent talk to provincial and federal politicians. He is now on the Dean’s List in a criminology degree, where he advocates and debates confidently and competently.

All of these personal mini-miracles happened because students leveraged their strengths to explore areas of insecurity in carefully designed, personalized science projects.

How do you confront challenges to equity in technology and education?There are 1.3 billion people in the world who live in light poverty, which means that when the sun sets, they choose between sitting in the dark or burning kerosene, brush, or candles. All of these options have serious negative socio-economic, health, environmental, and educational ramifications. For example, how can they do homework under those conditions?
This is a problem that my students can solve as they learn their science curriculum in a transdisciplinary way, while simultaneously developing into empathetic global citizens. My students practice their writing and public speaking to communicate with our global friends living in light poverty to gain an understanding that allows them to complete the first two steps of the design-thinking cycle: empathize and define. They use physics, economics, and art to ideate and create a prototype. The prototypes are tested in the classroom and then sent to our global friends living in light poverty, where they continue the testing. Their feedback is used for the next iteration. also seems to be addressing another inequity gap in STEM/STEAM education: gender. Approximately 80% of the students are female. This in-school and after-school project changes the perception that engineering is a cold-hearted way to make a new mousetrap. Instead, it’s a warm-hearted way to make the world better.

What benefits do you see when student voice is encouraged?Voice is the path from passive to engaged. We give voice to students both in and out of class. We still cover all the Science 12 content; however, at each reporting period, the power is handed to the students as a group to decide on the formula that will be used to calculate a grade. This process develops communication, collaboration, critical thinking and empathy in the students. It also makes them feel as though the students and teachers are on the same team, playing this game of learning. The first year I employed this strategy, the intrinsic motivation resulted in 100% attendance in an early-morning grade 12 class during the final semester.
The second step is to design personalized projects that allow students to use their creativity and have a voice to solve real problems in their community. One group designed a helmet that would send data to the coach about the impacts experienced by athletes to help prevent secondary injury.  Cass changed her trajectory from music to mechatronic engineering when she built an inexpensive prosthetic for people like her mother. Brae overcame his fear of speaking in class and was able to keynote on stage with Michael Fullan and 300 other international educators, speaking about his work designing solar powered solutions for the Jane Goodall Foundation.


To find out more about future-ready learning and the skills that will matter most for the Class of 2030, head to For courses, resources, and a community of edtech-empowered educators, visit To learn about Microsoft education tools and classroom technology, or to schedule free PD for your school, take a look at

Engineering Brightness top 10 Sustainability Projects in World by Hundred- Nov 2018

Engineering Brightness ( is spotlighted at the HundrED Sustainability Summit as one of the top 10 Projects in the world for Sustainability in Education at the Muse School in California. What a privilege to be in the same class as the Green School in Bali and Eco Schools who are in 86 countries.

Reused sign at Muse

The MUSE school in Calabasas California is a model school for sustainability. They have pondered every aspect of the school to make sure that their walking their talk. They have reused some of the planks from the old cabins to make a fence, old windows to make beautiful signs at the entrance, fantastic solar panels shaped like sun flowers that provide the kitchen with 100% of the electrical needs.


The students are feed one meal a day, and it is 100% Plant based. Their chef is pretty fantastic. The meals were amazing! I was full and I lost 2 pounds during the 4 days I was there.


The students are very involved with the running of the school. There are no custodians, the teachers and students pick up after themselves and are responsible for taking care of their own space. The students each do a rotation in the kitchen, learning to cook sustainably.


It Is kind of cool that someone like the wife of James Cameron, with all that privilege is willing to use her time and money to conduct a positive educational experiment. What is possible? Now that they are showing success, they are starting to make inroads into the public school system, which is a slower boat to turn.

E-B and Saku at MUSE Hundred

Natalie Day and Saku introduced the findings of the HundrED search for innovative projects around the world. They talked about how the innovation was not enough. The innovation had to be going in the right direction and be scalable. Both commented on how much they liked the Engineering Brightness because it was so well thought out, and simple, yet made a tangible impact and could be scaled to any school anywhere in the world.

Current Generation Canada asked to speak to NPDL and Michael Fullan Nov 10, 2018

Just after Thanksgiving, Anglophone East School District hosted the Atlantic Region New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning Summit. It was so fantastic that Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn and Meg from NPDL, along with almost 300 educators from as close as the Atlantic Region and as far as Vancouver, Virginia and Iowa gathered to talk about the potential for Deeper Learning. While there continues to be lots of excitement and fantastic examples in the k-8 sphere, it seems a desert in the realm of high school. This makes it particularly honourable that Engineering Brightness high school students were the only students invited to speak on stage to this fantastic audience.

Braeden and Beth both spoke. Beth is very comfortable on stage and did a fantastic job as per normal. She has a different cool story about how she took action to address Ellen’s Law. You can hear much more about that in the video of her speech. It is Braeden that is the topic of this story.

Beth and Braeden at NPDL

Braeden self-identifies as an extreme introvert who would not be able to do any kind of public speaking. I watched a transformation at the World Maker Faire. During the first half of the first day of the Maker Faire, Braeden sat in the background, allowing the more extroverted female students to interact at the booth. However, the girls needed a break and left Braeden and Kaleigh alone at the booth. He was put on the spot and magic happened. HE FOUND HIS VOICE! Only  48 hours later, he was volunteering to speak at the NPDL summit.

Current Generation is a fantastic example of True Personalized learning where, each student finds their area of strength AND growth. While Braeden was quite comfortable with the STEM portions, for him, finding his voice was the real development. Now his voice is heard in class, with his peers all the time. Transformational.

Insert Speech text here…

A 1st Year Uni Student Perspective part 2: Current Generation Leads to Research- Aug 2018

A student perspective given at the Atlantic Regional Liberal Summit attended by the Provincial Premier’s, the Federal Ministers and federal MPs.


As an Integrated Science student, a big part of second semester is the opportunity to do research, and I was so thankful to have done Current Generation before I started the research.
Current Generation and all the experiences it gave me, have lead me to one of the greatest experiences I have ever had: the opportunity to work with a group to study the uniformity and dosimetry of radiation when a 3D bolus is used in external beam radiation therapy for cancer treatment.

Having all the research opportunities pitched to us, we were told to expect having to learn to 3D model and 3D print, as well as a large time commitment greater than that anticipated when signing up for this program. I was the only one with experience in 3D printing and design already from Current Generation, as well as a history of time commitment on top of schooling. I could confidently dive into this research opportunity and explore my passion for medicine with minimal emotional trauma. Since these skills were different from those taught in regular high school, this made me appear even more qualified. In fact, my supervisor told me that there was a huge portion of people who wanted the same project I did, but I was chosen over the others.

I believe Current Generation has caused a chain reaction in my life. I was doing real work for real people, exploring a passion of mine, as well as learning plenty of other new skills not taught in first year university. It has allowed me to adapt and make my world bigger, which in turn has lead to more opportunities. I am hoping these will lead me to even more opportunities such as med school or wherever else my life may take me. Either way, I know very well that Current Generation was probably the best decision I ever made in high school.

Engineering Brightness Student Persective after 1st year Uni: The Purpose of Learning #student perspective- Aug 2018

A student perspective given at the Atlantic Regional Liberal Summit attended by the Provincial Premier’s, the Federal Ministers and federal MPs.


Current Generation-Engineering Brightness has had long term effects on me after leaving high school and starting post secondary education. I am in Dalhousie’s Integrated Science program, a competitive program accepting around 70 students from first year to take part, meaning that from the nearly 1000 students going into their first year, it was competitive. I had the same level of biology as many other kids, my marks weren’t valedictorian level good, nor was I an athlete. What made me different, was Current Generation-Engineering Brightness and the fact I was being the change I wanted to see in the world. This made me an individual and not just a number: B00766752.

Great, I got in. One thing I was not fully prepared for, was the challenge of first year university in an elite program such as Integrated Science. It was challenging in a way my high school had not prepared me for; more assignments in a week than I had in a semester of high school and an environment where the stress of succeeding is higher than any other time in my life (I mean after all I am paying for my school, any amount of effort less than my all was a waste of my own money). It was challenging, but I had the environment of
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness for the last few years, and I could use
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness to help me get through the tough days. As cheesy at it sounds, I’d remind myself of my involvement within EB when times got particularly stressful or busy. Could I really get all this work done on time? of course I could, I’d designed and built my own light that was now in the Dominican Republic. When I wake up early in the morning and sleeping until noon sounds like the best idea ever, I get up and go to class no matter how much I dislike earth science labs because
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness instilled the ideology that my education was an important tool for both myself but even more important, for helping others. Even though I don’t see first hand how learning about igneous rock composition will help others, that mentality has remained across all my subjects.

Current Generation-Engineering Brightness has given me a set of skills and mentality that I can draw from to help me in every other aspect of my life.
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness has given purpose to my learning and strength to persevere. The purpose of learning is to build capacity so that I can help others.

Current Generation & Global Competencies that Changed a Kid’s Life- A student perspective -August 15, 2018

A student perspective given at the Atlantic Regional Liberal Summit attended by the Provincial Premier’s, the Federal Ministers and federal MPs.

I’ve been a part of
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness since grade 10. I am currently a first year university student. I’m here today to talk to you, the Atlantic Summit of Liberal Federal Ministers, Premiers from all four provinces and MLAs, about my experience with
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness, the skills I developed and how it changed the trajectory of my life.

I learned a lot during my time with
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness including: CAD work, soldering, the dynamics of electricity, technical writing for presentation proposals and even empathy.

For me, The biggest thing that came from
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness was confidence and public speaking. What a lot of people don’t realize is that ever since I was little I have had a speech impediment due to surgical complications resulting in paralysis in my throat. This has always affected the way I talk, and caused me great anxiety when any form of presentation was proposed. I was unable to present to people. I would stand in silence and wait to be told to sit back down. I would turn red, sweat and hyperventilate when a teacher asked me to answer a simple question. Even though I knew the answer, I froze. Then a couple of interesting things happened that I can genuinely say changed my life.

Current Generation-Engineering Brightness I was given the opportunity to present a poster at the ISEC STEAM conference at Princeton University and again at the ISTE conference in Denver with nearly 19,000 delegates. I was passionate enough about the work, that it gave me confidence to speak to a whole room of strangers. After these challenging opportunities, speaking to a class of 30 friends was simple. In fact, later, I was able to present an entire project in my second language for an hour and… even asked a girl to prom at the end.. as if it were nothing.

Confidence and Public Speaking are skills I get to take away from
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness that will benefit me in ways that I cannot yet realize. Three years ago, I wouldn’t even be in this room, let alone on stage. I have always been interested in Law as a career, but my self confidence about speaking kept me away.
Current Generation-Engineering Brightness has removed that barrier and now I am in an undergraduate degree to study law.