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Education

Lacombe Teacher Receives Prime Minister’s Award

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Government of Canada News Release

Steven Schultz, a Grades 10 – 12 Mechatronics-Robotics teacher at École Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School has been awarded a Prime Minister’s Award, Certificate of Excellence.

Mr. Schultz will be celebrated at an awards ceremony with the Prime Minister on May 28 in Ottawa.

The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence honour outstanding and innovative elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines. Recipients are recognized for their leadership and exemplary teaching practices as well as for their commitment to help the next generation of Canadians gain the knowledge and skills they need for future success in a world inspired by ideas and driven by innovation.

From robotics to beekeeping, Mr. Schultz shares his wide-ranging passions with students and engages them through hands-on projects and activities that have inspired a surge of interest in STEM fields in central Alberta.

The Prime Minister’s Awards, offered at the Certificate of Excellence (national) and Certificate of Achievement (regional) levels, carry cash prizes of $5,000 and $1,000 respectively. Each recipient receives a letter and a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.

Steven David Schultz

Certificate of Excellence Recipient

General Science, Chemistry, Electro-Technology, Agriculture, Green Certificate
Beekeeping, Mechatronics-Robotics, grades 10–12
École Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School, Lacombe, Alberta

“Steve is helping to shape Lacombe one child at a time. His energy and drive are matched only by his sincere commitment to helping his students.”
— President, community environmental association

Steven Schultz started a robotics program 15 years ago, that has since involved hundreds of students at 10 schools. He shares his project-based approach, and STEM and robotics activities, with teachers and students in schools and orphanages around the world.

Teaching approach

A great listener, Steven finds the positive in any situation, encouraging students, regardless of ability, race or gender, to pursue their passions and strengths. Inspired by multiple intelligences theory, he uses project-based learning strategies to help students gain confidence and improve performance.

In the classroom

  • Goes beyond the curriculum with EcoVision environmental projects—building a tropical greenhouse, establishing a two-acre garden and launching a composting program—that allow students to develop leadership, communication and innovation skills not possible in the classroom.
  • Pioneered a robotics team for young people to learn programming, design, mechanics and electronics skills; has led to considerable interest in STEM subjects in central Alberta.
  • Integrates technology to enhance teaching and learning: computer-assisted instruction supplements classroom time in electro-technology and robotics course; Netflix and YouTube videos sustain beekeeping course over the winter, when students can’t access the hives.
  • Leads international trips to extend learning: students learned about recycling, biodiversity and Indigenous culture in Costa Rica, and developed lesson plans in Kenya.

Outstanding achievements

  • Secured partnerships with a college leading to mechatronics and robotics program for high school students, and another college to develop the first-of-its-kind high school Green Certificate beekeeping program; students then launched the urban beekeeping program with municipality.
  • Has been part of Science 30 curriculum development team for Alberta Education for 25 years, developing and testing innovative diploma exam questions, and reviewing and marking exams.
  • Classes are continually above provincial averages; less than one percent of students have failed his courses over 25 years, including diploma-level courses in chemistry and science.
  • School named Canada’s Greenest School in 2018 (tied for first); robotics team regularly earns spot in world championships; Steven named 2018 Citizen of the Year by local chamber of commerce.
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Community

Notre Dame Grad Service Project donates $50,000 to Child Advocacy Centre

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From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

As of June, this year’s grad service project “Be the Voice” at École Secondaire Notre Dame High School has raised a total of $50,000 for the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. 

Over the past seven months, students in conjunction with St. Francis of Assisi Middle School have been fundraising through different activities and events, such as bake sales, school challenges, food trucks, etc. From April 1-6, École Secondaire Notre Dame High School hosted their Grad Service Project week, where teams of six students and their team teacher worked together to raise money, compete in ridiculous challenges and earn points. On the final day of that week, student teams, along with a parent completed a 22-hour extreme scavenger hunt throughout Red Deer without a vehicle.

“The service project is a Notre Dame tradition. It is fantastic to watch students connect with the charity they chose. They work so hard to raise funds and make a difference. The student’s passion for success of this project extends to their families. It’s great to see everyone getting involved, have fun and truly make a difference in our community. They realize they can contribute and make our community even better. It’s a life lesson,” said Grad Service Project Coordinator, Shannon Nivens at École Secondaire Notre Dame High School.

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre was the charity of choice this year because students liked the idea of supporting children in their local community. Each year the graduating class from École Secondaire Notre Dame High School chooses a charity to raise funds for through their Grad Service Project. For the past 11 years, students have raised more than $600,000 for student chosen charities.
For more information about the École Secondaire Notre Dame High School grad service project, please visit notredamehigh.ca

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National

Senate Arctic committee calls recommendations in report a ‘wake-up call’

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OTTAWA — We the North? Canada’s Senate is skeptical.

The marketing slogan for Toronto’s NBA team may be everywhere these days. But for Sen. Dennis Patterson, who helped write a new report on the Arctic, it’s mostly just that.

“The country identifies itself by its North. The True North strong and free, the Raptors. But it’s symbolic. It’s not real.”

Patterson is a chairman of a special Senate committee on the Arctic, which just tabled a report with 30 recommendations on everything from funding better education for northerners to building housing fit for a changing climate.

Almost all of them have been made before in some form. The paper’s appendix lists 56 reports in the last 12 years written by Senate or House committees on Arctic issues.

The new report is entitled “A Wake-Up Call” and Patterson says Ottawa’s sleep has been long and deep.

“There’s still a huge infrastructure deficit,” said Patterson, who is from Iqaluit, Nunavut. “We’re feeling neglected and the evidence seems to be that is the case, that the North is not on the radar.”

Sen. Patricia Bovey, a co-chair on the committee, pointed out that when the group was struck in 2017, there was anticipation the Liberal government would soon release its anticipated Arctic policy framework. No such policy has been tabled and Bovey suggests her committee’s work can fill that gap.  

“This report, I hope, will become the basis for actions.”

It does make some specific recommendations.

It calls for a action on high-speed internet connectivity by next March. A dedicated minister for northern affairs is a “must, not a maybe,” said Bovey.

It asks for an Arctic infrastructure bank to help fund housing and public buildings to mitigate the impacts of climate change. New construction codes need to be developed appropriate to the North, the report adds.

Communities should have energy options other than diesel generators. Basic adult education should be better-funded and an Arctic university should be developed.

Chronic health issues should also be addressed by dealing with the social conditions that cause them. And local scientific capacity should be developed and research programs designed to meet the needs of northerners.  

“What I hope we’ve done is express the urgency, develop some immediate steps that can be taken to address the bigger whole, while providing a pathway to a sustained ongoing engagement and improvement,” Bovey said.

In an email, a spokesperson for Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said a policy framework is still coming.

“We are taking the necessary time and steps to co-develop a framework that reflects and integrates the shared interests, goals and priorities of our partners and is responsive to the needs of Northerners and Arctic residents,” it said. “We will have more say on it in the coming weeks.”

The email said the framework will focus on communities, economies, infrastructure, environment, research, safety and defence. It noted the 2019 budget sets out $700 million over 10 years for northern projects. 

Patterson said the North is ready for development. Effective ways of reviewing, assessing and permitting projects in the North are already in place.

“We have experience and we have done innovations in the Arctic that the rest of Canada could benefit from if they’d only pay attention to what we’ve managed to accomplish.”

But first, Patterson said, the North has to get somebody’s attention.

“Maybe, after decades of neglect, this comprehensive report will actually materialize in the form of a new comprehensive federal policy on the Arctic.”

— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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june, 2019

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