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Register for Complimentary Courses

Posted on August 9, 2021

Hello SIA Families,

It is finally time to indicate your preferences for this year’s complementary courses. The STEM Innovation Academy (SIA) will run a trimester system, with students participating in two complimentary courses in each trimester.

During the first trimester every student in the school will participate in STEM 101 as one of their complimentary courses. STEM 101 will offer students the opportunity to develop problem solving, inquiry, creativity, and creative thinking skills. This course is foundational to the learning and opportunities that students can pursue at STEM Innovation Academy and acts as a prerequisite to other STEM complementary courses offered at the school. Since students will enter the STEM Innovation Academy with greatly varied backgrounds and STEM competencies, this course will ensure that students possess basic understandings and skills in common, such as safety skills, file management, and basic understanding of software used in the school.

During the 2021-22 school year, there will be one other mandatory complementary course for all students that we’re calling STEM Talks.

As we hope that today’s SIA students will be the leaders and innovators of tomorrow, we want to ensure that our students are given opportunities to pursue research and innovation in areas of interest and that they will be able to present what they have learned in a clear and compelling manner. The STEM Talks course will provide students with various formats for sharing information with others, whether it be through Ted Talk style presentations, other presentation formats, or debate. As the teacher helps students improve their capabilities regarding the “how” of presenting, students will have a great deal of flexibility and input into the “what” of their presentations. Students will be supported in their research through access to much of the equipment and technology in the school.

 

Please seem email sent out by Principal Kerry Blum on August 9 for link to survey. After reading course descriptions, please rank your choices. We will do our best to give students their top choices for their 4 selected courses.

Complimentary Courses 2021-22

Grade 7

Students will design and build their own Rube Goldberg machine to achieve a task. After qualitative and quantitative analysis of their RG machines, students will make design modifications to improve the efficiency of their machines. Students will gain insight into the role of scientist and engineer as they learn about energy, conservation of energy, heat transfer, efficiency, forces and the design process all in a very hands-on way.

Students will design a solar heater and then use their solar heater to conduct scientific investigations. They will use their results to then make design modifications to their heaters to improve the efficiency of the heater. Students will gain insight into the role of scientist and engineer as they learn about heat transfer, efficiency, temperature, specific heat capacity and the design process, in a very hands-on way.

Students will develop skills in creativity, perseverance and teamwork as they design, program, and test simple and more complex robots. Students will work in teams to build and program robots to complete open-ended challenges. Students will investigate how automation and robotics may solve problems today, and how to invent technologies for a better future. Concepts covered will include computational thinking, fundamental programming, collaborative problem solving, engineering construction and design thinking.

Students will receive very specific individual and small group instruction to improve their performance level in reading, writing, or math. Interventions will be responsive to assessment completed near the beginning of the school year. Teaching strategies will match individualized student learning needs to help students learn concepts or skills in a way that will make sense to them.

Think it, build it, print it! In this option course, students will explore the world of 3D Printers and the basics of 3D Modelling. They will dive deep into the physical components used to build a 3D printer, the software that allows for communication between your computer and 3D printer, all while building a digital model that you will 3D print successfully.

Students will develop a theoretical and conceptual understanding of the field of game design as they gain practical experience in creating games. Topics include researching games, obtaining client viewpoints, brainstorming solutions, coding, rapid prototyping, testing, and iterative redesign. Students will develop best practices for prototyping, examining user interfaces, play testing, game balancing, pacing, and workflow. They will document and communicate the design process as well as develop deliverables for clients.

Students will study graphic creation and manipulation as they capture an image and work with it in multiple formats. Students will learn the basics of photo composition and editing, particularly geared towards incorporating their graphics into virtual reality projects.

In this hands-on course students will incorporate the design process to solve a real-world problem focussed on limiting the impact of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. This year’s focus will relate to sustainable food production and hydroponics.

Students will use the design process to solve a real-world problem. This year’s challenge will relate to prosthetics. Students will learn to use design tools and 3-D printers to create and test prototypes. They will then be able to gather data and refine their creations.

Do you want to learn how to make a character, prop, or world that could be used in a video game or movie? In this exciting, yet challenging option, students will explore how to build a digital world. Students will learn the importance of reference images, the difference between hard surface modeling and organic sculpting, as well as adding textures and lighting, leading to a final rendered image of your scene.

Students will become increasingly financially literate, and will gain a basic understanding of budgeting, investing, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Students will be active learners in the course as they track actual cryptocurrencies and evaluate investment decisions. Concepts covered will include supply and demand, markets, risk/reward, and financial security.

Students will learn functional coding through a series of projects. Although students do not need a coding background to do well in this course, students who are already familiar with Python will be given challenges starting at their level, so that their coding skills will continue to progress.

Working with an industry partner students will be given a complex cybersecurity/hacking challenge that they will work through during the course, learning cybersecurity concepts along the way. The final project will be participation in a science-fair-like hacking competition hosted at our school and judged by our industry partners.

Grade 8

Students will design and build their own Rube Goldberg machine to achieve a task. After qualitative and quantitative analysis of their RG machines, students will make design modifications to improve the efficiency of their machines. Students will gain insight into the role of scientist and engineer as they learn about types of energy, conservation of energy, heat transfer, efficiency, forces and the design process, in a very hands-on way.

Students will design a two-phase Mars landing spacecraft. They will build their design around their astronaut (an egg) and test it by dropping it off the side of a building, to land on a force plate. Students will collect qualitative and/or quantitative data (from the force plate), to complete graphs and interpret data, so that their designs can be modified to reduce the impact force of the lander. Students will gain insight into the role of scientist and engineer as they learn about momentum, change in momentum, impulse, fluid resistance, forces, structure and function, and the design cycle, in a very hands-on way.

Students will develop skills in creativity, perseverance and teamwork as they design, program, and test simple and more complex robots. Students will work in teams to build and program robots to complete open-ended challenges. Students will investigate how automation and robotics may solve problems today, and how to invent technologies for a better future. Concepts covered will include computational thinking, fundamental programming, collaborative problem solving, engineering construction and design thinking.

Students will receive very specific individual and small group instruction to improve their performance level in reading, writing, or math. Interventions will be responsive to assessment completed near the beginning of the school year. Teaching strategies will match individualized student learning needs to help students learn concepts or skills in a way that will make sense to them.

Think it, build it, print it! In this option course, students will explore the world of 3D Printers and the basics of 3D Modelling. They will dive deep into the physical components used to build a 3D printer, the software that allows for communication between your computer and 3D printer, all while building a digital model that you will 3D print successfully.

Students will develop a theoretical and conceptual understanding of the field of game design as they gain practical experience in creating games. Topics include researching games, obtaining client viewpoints, brainstorming solutions, coding, rapid prototyping, testing, and iterative redesign. Students will develop best practices for prototyping, examining user interfaces, play testing, game balancing, pacing, and workflow. They will document and communicate the design process as well as develop deliverables for clients.

Students will study graphic creation and manipulation as they capture an image and work with it in multiple formats. Students will learn the basics of photo composition and editing, particularly geared towards incorporating their graphics into virtual reality projects.

In this hands-on course students will incorporate the design process to solve a real-world problem focussed on limiting the impact of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. This year’s focus will relate to sustainable food production and hydroponics.

Students will use the design process to solve a real-world problem. This year’s challenge will relate to prosthetics. Students will learn to use design tools and 3-D printers to create and test prototypes. They will then be able to gather data and refine their creations.

Do you want to learn how to make a character, prop, or world that could be used in a video game or movie? In this exciting, yet challenging option, students will explore how to build a digital world. Students will learn the importance of reference images, the difference between hard surface modeling and organic sculpting, as well as adding textures and lighting, leading to a final rendered image of your scene.

Students will become increasingly financially literate, and will gain a basic understanding of budgeting, investing, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Students will be active learners in the course as they track actual cryptocurrencies and evaluate investment decisions. Concepts covered will include supply and demand, markets, risk/reward, and financial security.

Students will learn functional coding through a series of projects. Although students do not need a coding background to do well in this course, students who are already familiar with Python will be given challenges starting at their level, so that their coding skills will continue to progress.

Working with an industry partner students will be given a complex cybersecurity/hacking challenge that they will work through during the course, learning cybersecurity concepts along the way. The final project will be participation in a science-fair-like hacking competition hosted at our school and judged by our industry partners.

Grade 9

Students will design and build a device that uses LED’s to promote school spirit and/or wellbeing. Students will use ohm's law to calculate the resistors needed in the circuit diagram they design, based on the colour and number of LEDs used. Students will have the chance to build their circuits, and school spirit signs, by soldering the components together. Students will gain insight into the role of scientist and engineer as they learn about electrons and energy, current, voltage, emf, resistance, applications of Ohm's Law, series and parallel circuits and the design process, in a very hands-on way.

Students will design a two-phase Mars landing spacecraft. They will build their design around their astronaut (an egg) and test it by dropping it off the side of a building, to land on a force plate. Students will collect qualitative and/or quantitative data (from the force plate), to complete graphs and interpret data, so that their designs can be modified to reduce the impact force of the lander. Students will gain insight into the role of scientist and engineer as they learn about momentum, change in momentum, impulse, fluid resistance, forces, structure and function, and the design cycle, in a very hands-on way.

Students will develop skills in creativity, perseverance and teamwork as they design, program, and test simple and more complex robots. Students will work in teams to build and program robots to complete open-ended challenges. Students will investigate how automation and robotics may solve problems today, and how to invent technologies for a better future. Concepts covered will include computational thinking, fundamental programming, collaborative problem solving, engineering construction and design thinking.

Students will receive very specific individual and small group instruction to improve their performance level in reading, writing, or math. Interventions will be responsive to assessment completed near the beginning of the school year. Teaching strategies will match individualized student learning needs to help students learn concepts or skills in a way that will make sense to them.

Think it, build it, print it! In this option course, students will explore the world of 3D Printers and the basics of 3D Modelling. They will dive deep into the physical components used to build a 3D printer, the software that allows for communication between your computer and 3D printer, all while building a digital model that you will 3D print successfully.

Students will develop a theoretical and conceptual understanding of the field of game design as they gain practical experience in creating games. Topics include researching games, obtaining client viewpoints, brainstorming solutions, coding, rapid prototyping, testing, and iterative redesign. Students will develop best practices for prototyping, examining user interfaces, play testing, game balancing, pacing, and workflow. They will document and communicate the design process as well as develop deliverables for clients.

Students will study graphic creation and manipulation as they capture an image and work with it in multiple formats. Students will learn the basics of photo composition and editing, particularly geared towards incorporating their graphics into virtual reality projects.

In this hands-on course students will incorporate the design process to solve a real-world problem focussed on limiting the impact of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. This year’s focus will relate to sustainable food production and hydroponics.

Students will use the design process to solve a real-world problem. This year’s challenge will relate to prosthetics. Students will learn to use design tools and 3-D printers to create and test prototypes. They will then be able to gather data and refine their creations.

Do you want to learn how to make a character, prop, or world that could be used in a video game or movie? In this exciting, yet challenging option, students will explore how to build a digital world. Students will learn the importance of reference images, the difference between hard surface modeling and organic sculpting, as well as adding textures and lighting, leading to a final rendered image of your scene.

Students will become increasingly financially literate, and will gain a basic understanding of budgeting, investing, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Students will be active learners in the course as they track actual cryptocurrencies and evaluate investment decisions. Concepts covered will include supply and demand, markets, risk/reward, and financial security.

Students will learn functional coding through a series of projects. Although students do not need a coding background to do well in this course, students who are already familiar with Python will be given challenges starting at their level, so that their coding skills will continue to progress.

Working with an industry partner students will be given a complex cybersecurity/hacking challenge that they will work through during the course, learning cybersecurity concepts along the way. The final project will be participation in a science-fair-like hacking competition hosted at our school and judged by our industry partners.