Last year’s Classroom of the Future Eastern winner Sadie Bradbury, Highland Park Junior High blogs her insights on creating a winning video & the positive impact the contest had on her students.

So, we won the Eastern Makerspace! When my principal walked into my science room and handed me her cell phone, and Robert Martellacci was on the other end, speakerphone engaged, Highland Park technology changed.

The impact was almost immediate, our students were thrilled and amazed and so very happy. Many had doubts when we said we were going to try the competition,and this really changed attitudes, that their small population competing against other larger schools in Canada could actually win a competition! When the students asked what we had won, the belief in their abilities grew, as did their confidence and their joy. This was an amazing gift in itself, the school started with minimal technology and we now were moving into the future of technology!

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When the prizes started arriving, the students’ joy continued to grow, as did their curiosity. What can we make, design, build? What does that do? How does that work? When can we use that? Suddenly technology has become a front runner of interest, and the students are self-motivated, their desire to figure things out on their own or together has really grown. They are eager to come to technology classes, to see what new ideas and challenges await them. They have started looking for solutions and working together as a team, with these new tools, to investigate, to learn and to persevere. Students and teachers are learning together, teachers are no longer the provider of the lesson, the students arrive with their own ideas, can we try……..? And with the new equipment, programs, technology and furniture, our maker space is developing, with the help of the students and the support of our school.

The problem-based learning and innovation that has taken off in Highland Park have been a transformation in more ways than we thought possible. We are growing every day, in our learning, our confidence, our pride in our achievements and our creations. Thank you Mindshare Learning!