Sudbury Catholic District School Board

December 20, 2018

Creating Innovative Schools through Coding and Robotics

Director's Corner

I can hardly believe that December is already here and that 2019 is just around the corner.  This year has been marked with many successes and much to celebrate. All of this has been possible because of our students, parents, trustees, community partners and our amazing dedicated staff.  At this time of the year it is important to give thanks for our many blessings.  I thank all of you for all that you do and for making Sudbury Catholic the amazing organization that it is.  During this season, we prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus.  We light our Advent wreath as a reminder that we are called to be light to the world in our words and in our actions.  As we move through these final days of preparing our hearts and our homes, I wish you all a very blessed Christmas season and peace and love throughout the year. 

We celebrated Advent with a Mass at the Catholic Education Centre with Father Sam presiding. 

This year’s Christmas Card Design Contest winners Chloe from Pius XII School and the students in the Communications Classroom at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. We have such talented students, it is always a difficult choice!

Chloe, a Grade 6 student from Pius XII School drew this card to remind us about the importance of family this Christmas. 
The students in the Communications Classroom at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School each played a part in creating this Christmas tree card. 

For the month of December, I wanted to focus on the strategic pathway of innovation. In each of our schools, our staff and students work diligently each day to find new ways to be innovative thinkers and learners.

Over the past several years, our Board has focused on incorporating coding and robotics into learning – teaching students how valuable and versatile the skills truly are. I am excited to share with you how our schools are helping to prepare our students with the 21st century competencies they will require to achieve success.

Brian Aspinall brings his coding knowledge to Sudbury Catholic Schools! 

During the week of November 26, author, teacher and coding expert Brian Aspinall facilitated several learning sessions with our schools! Brian focused on both beginner and more advanced coding programs including Scratch and Makey Makey. Students loved being able to work with the technology and explore their coding skills! We hope Brian visits Sudbury Catholic Schools again soon!

This being the second opportunity they had to train with Brian, the students at Pius XII dove right into coding their own programs using Scratch 3.0…giving Ms. Hyndman a few pointers along the way! The girls will also be co-facilitating a Coding Club in the New Year where students will learn the basics of computer programming
using iPad’s and various coding tools. 
Even a snow day couldn’t stop the coding fun! Students at St. Charles School couldn’t make it to the session in person so they Skyped into the session with Brian Aspinall exploring the coding programs with support at a distance!
Marymount Students work with Makey Makey to play a piano. 

Sudbury Catholic Schools take over LEGO Tournament at Science North! 

Several elementary schools took part in the city-wide First LEGO League tournament at Science North on Saturday, December 1. The schools of Holy Cross, Holy Trinity, St. Anne and St. James represented Sudbury Catholic Schools well at the tournament! We thank the students, their dedicated coaches and community sponsors who have helped grow the program over the years. Congratulations on an amazing effort by all! 

Holy Cross, Holy Trinity, St. Anne and St. James students participated in the First LEGO tournament at Science North on December 1, 2018.

Sudbury Catholic staff and students participate in the Hour of Code

The Hour of Code was celebrated during the week of December 3 – December 7. All week our staff and students worked together to complete coding activities during the #HourOfCode! The Hour of Code is an international event that occurs in December promoting coding in schools and accross school boards. Board staff and educators worked together to teach our students (and themselves) how easy and fun coding can be! 

Some central office staff spent their Hour of Code with students from St. Anne School to teach them about the basics of coding. Pictured here is Nancy Cecchetto, Financial Analyst supporting and learning with our students. It was great to have so many central office staff come out and support coding in our schools.
This St. David student was so excited to learn to code with her classmates! 

St. Benedict students take full advantage of unique coding room!

Students have the opportunity to use Ozobot’s, Ollie’s and Sphero’s every day at lunch in the coding room, located in the grade 7/8 wing at St. Benedict Catholic School.

The students can also work on coding and engineering using the Lego Mindstorm. The coding room is staffed at lunch and on nutrition break.

In addition to all the technology at their fingertips, the coding room also allows students the opportunity to develop team work and problem solving.

Grade 7 and 8 students at St. Benedict embrace coding during their lunch hours at school!

Bishop Alexander Carter Students gear up to race!

Mr. Facchini’s Grade 10 Technological Design course at Bishop Carter has begun constructing remote controlled cars, using cardboard for the frame and Arduino programmable circuit boards to control the motor, steering and radio communication. The car will receive the data and use it to control steering via servo and forward/backwards movement via motor.  Once the students have completed their cars, a race will be held in the gymnasium to put them to the test.  This project requires students to apply a variety of skills, including drafting in AutoCAD, prototyping, electrical wiring, and coding!

Students put their robotics skills to the test with this remote car project!

Get to know us!

This month, I am happy to introduce Jillian Ospina, our Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact. She can often be found travelling classroom to classroom introducing students and educators to the world of coding and robotics. She believes that not only does coding help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills, it also provides the opportunity for students to become digital content creators instead of just digital consumers.

“Not many people can say they are lucky enough to be given the opportunity to learn about new educational technologies, philosophies and strategies and then see them in action through our staff and students in the classroom. I’m fortunate enough to be working for an innovative, forward thinking board that encourages teachers and students to use technology as the powerful learning tool it has become.” 

Jillian Ospina saves the day by becoming our
Coding Crusader during our annual Hour of Code sessions. 
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