What Does It Mean to be a Maker?

Students reflect on what it means to be a Maker? The deep desire to use their talents, their learning, their innovation and creativity to make the world brighter comes out in each interview. Girls in Engineering will change the world.

All Roads Lead to Rome

For almost 20 years of teaching, I have been trying to create transdisciplinary learning experiences. Projects like the Xenotransplant Project (2008) and the Aquaponics project (2013) were stepping stones. I was trying to get to a Renaissance education where it was impossible to see the difference between science and art reminiscent of Leonardo DaVinci. The well known sayings about “Rome not being built in a day” and “All Roads Lead to Rome” seem particularly poignant and pervasive.

In October, Current Generation physically traveled to Rome to showcase their work to the world of makers. Students are making a better world using their learning, even as young adults from a small town on the other side of the Atlantic.

WEConnect @ RHS

Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Citizenship

WEConnect is the virtual arm of ‘s WeDay. Current Generation was chosen as one of 4 schools globally as inspirational examples to over 100,000 students and teachers in 27 countries.

WE selected us because one of our students took time off summer work and families changed vacation plans so that she could participate in the We Are Social Entrepreneurs (WASE) program sponsored by We and RBC. After working from noon till 4 pm every day with 2-3 hours of homework at night, she expertly pitched to the judges and won a starter grant.

With only a couple of short days before we fly to Rome for the European Maker Faire, the fantastic camera crew arrives with all their gear, the host, the producers and technical crew arrives. We all have a great time late into the evening and most of the next day setting up, practicing over and over again, editing, trimming, word choice, volume, pace, timing.

As educators, we strive to find authentic learning opportunities where all of the disciplines are mixed with purpose. Students interact with the professional to talk about the temperature of light, the impact of color filters, technical sounds issues, interviewing techniques, how to succinctly tell a story, how to stand and speak live on camera. This is a fantastic addition to their learning path that included science, engineering, and graphic arts.

Perhaps the most important learning was a sense of confidence, accomplishment, pride comradery and importance. The rest of the world thinks that what we are doing is an important way to make the world a little bit brighter. Even as young people from a small town in a have-not province, we can become innovators, social entrepreneurs and global citizens that use their talents, develop new skills and make an impact in the world.

Current Generation Promo Video by Hemmings House

It has been a long time coming, but we finally got a chance to work together. Ever since the Millennial Dream, Code Kids and Sistema documentaries, I have wanted to work with Hemmings House.

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.

European Maker Faire

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.

Featured in the Profile of a Learner by the NB Dept of Education

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.

A portion of “Profile of a Learner” from the NB Dept of Education.

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.

Opening Day of Innovative Labs Schools

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.