We love supporting teachers to help them make their over-the-top ideas a reality. With Brilliant Labs classroom project funding, thousands of teachers across Atlantic Canada have been able to remove the barrier of access to materials in order to bring powerful learning experiences to their students. Last fall, we were contacted by a teacher at Avon View High School, located in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. She heard about our funding opportunities from the Master’s program at Mt. St. Vincent University.
Jackie Adams teaches several high school courses including Agriculture/Agrifoods 11. The goals of her course are to help students understand some of the technology, processes, and impacts the agriculture industry has within Canada and on a global scale. When her students were learning about the potential of renewable energy within agriculture, she wanted them to have the opportunity to do more than just study the different forms of energy from books and internet searches. The project idea was for students to research/plan, design (using 3D modeling software such as SketchUp), and construct replicas of renewable energy models. Models included barns with solar panels, passive solar greenhouses, biodigesters powered by geothermal energy, and windmills or wind turbines.
After receiving news that her project would be funded, she allowed her students to create lists of the specific materials they would need to complete their projects. This offered the students ownership over the whole process and engagement from the beginning. A few days later, her students received a large box with all the supplies they requested!
“They often came in earlier or stayed after to work on the projects on their own,” Mrs. Adams explained. When asked about the benefits of maker education in her grade 11 classroom, Mrs. Adams feels the key benefits are student collaboration, the excitement of working with their hands and being able to decide on what they wanted to build. “They really enjoyed seeing the models come together and being able to explain the theory behind the technology.”