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Catholic Board launches new teaching that highlights ‘Growing Innovators’

For immediate release

September 12, 2017 (Brantford) -The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board is pleased to announce the launch of a new Kindergarten to grade 8 STEM – Growing Innovators (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program. This ambitious program is constructed to infuse student learning with projects that develop Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation, and Citizenship.

The Board approved the implementation of STEM – Growing Innovators as a support of a goal of the Strategic Plan, “Increase the use of problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, entrepreneurialism, technology competencies in teaching and learning across the district.” As well, the Board believes in the importance of preparing our students for those jobs that have not yet been created or named. “The STEM initiative provides our students with the skills and critical thinking required to adapt, create, succeed and ensure the success of those around them,” said Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella. “This helps prepare our students for jobs that have not yet been created or named.”

The elementary STEM – Growing Innovators initiative is being rolled out across the district over three years with year one (2017-18) having ten locations. “The program complements our district’s continued focus on math, the progression of our 21st Century technology initiative, and the advancement of our Innovative Think Spaces,” said Director of Education, Chris N. Roehrig. “We are providing even our youngest students with what totals to an additional five days, each year, of dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering and Math exposure.” This equates to an additional 50 days of focused instruction over an elementary school journey.

With the STEM – Growing Innovators initiative using focused equipment, resources and redesigned Think Spaces, the Board is able to offer it at no additional cost to the system. Students will work on projects like engineering design challenges, robotics, coding, and circuits to apply mathematics and science skills. All of the projects will be connected to curriculum expectations and will complement the existing Technology Enabled Learning Plan as well as the renewed math strategy.

STEM – Growing Innovators will impact every student at every grade level and will help create a fundamental change in how our BHNCDSB students think and what they are capable of.  Students will have the skills required to succeed in our ever-changing world. They will be collaborative, reflective learners; critical thinkers; creative communicators; and problem solvers, all of which will ensure that they are tooled up to be our innovative leaders of tomorrow.

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For more information about the STEM – Growing Innovators initiative contact:
Leslie Telfer, Superintendent of Education  |  519-756-6505 Ext. 237  |  ltelfer@bhncdsb.ca

For more information about the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board:
Tracey Austin, Manager of Communication and Community Relations  |  519-756-6505 Ext. 234  |  519-732-5282  |  taustin@bhncdsb.ca