“We thought it would be a wonderful chance for our two small communities to come together and share ideas,” said organizer Jody Kuczynski, Vice-Principal of Manitouwadge Public School.
Students spent the day at different coding centres before showing each other what they can do with their robotics kits supplied through a community liaison committee initiative supported by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).
“Through its funding, the NWMO has helped us to grow and develop our programming around robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) areas,” Ms. Kuczynski said.
Each school received a variety of robotics programs to support continued learning in STEM fields. Part of the initiative featured a voluntary after-school program for students interested in exploring the ever-expanding world of coding and robotics. The NWMO’s support aligns with continued efforts by the schools to provide learning opportunities in robotics and coding.
“We would like to thank the local community liaison committees in both Hornepayne and Manitouwadge for making this day possible through their input into the Early Investments in Education and Skills program,” said Norman Sandberg, NWMO Relationship Manager.
“Congratulations to everyone from both communities. It was a huge success, and we were thrilled to be part of it.”
Students worked with Vex kits, Lego and Cubelets. When the equipment arrived earlier in the school year, members of the coding clubs were responsible for logging and organizing the pieces, and subsequently learning how to build and code their robotic creations.
“This was a great leadership opportunity for students in Hornepayne to come together with our neighbours,” said Jeremy Schryer, Hornepayne elementary and secondary school teacher.
“This collaboration and learning environment provided an amazing partnership for both our communities.”
Manitouwadge coding club leader, Rachelle Horner, supported the students by providing various opportunities to scaffold their learning, and encouraged them to persevere as they came up against roadblocks and frustrating moments.
“It’s been amazing to see the growth of the students with coding and robotics, and their continued development of independent learning skills, including perseverance, collaboration and problem solving – all of which transfer into their academic growth in the classroom,” said Ms. Horner.
Participating schools from Hornepayne included Hornepayne Public School, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School, École Saint Nom de Jésus, and Hornepayne High School.
From Manitouwadge, École publique Franco-Manitou, Manitouwadge Public School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, and Manitouwadge High School all took part.