GO! Program Winter Season

The GO! Program has had an exciting winter season, filled with lots of time outdoors exploring new activities and places within Vancouver and the surrounding area. 

Back in December, before the break, the GO students completed their Avalanche Safety Training course while backcountry snowshoeing at Mount Seymour with Canada West Mountain School. The day was absolutely perfect, as students got to implement their new skills learned in a snowstorm while on the mountain. Talk about hands-on learning!

These past few months, the students and Ms. Brennan have been trying new winter sports, exposing themselves to different ways to stay active and appreciate the outdoors. In January, the class went cross-country skiing at Cypress Mountain, where students had the opportunity to try skate skiing with Ms. Atkinson or classic with Ms. Brennan. It was a beautiful day “above the clouds” and we got some amazing shots of the students. It was lovely to see them outside and enjoying winter, and all the fun that comes along with it!

February has been another busy month, starting off with an afternoon of bouldering at The Hive. Students learned new climbing skills and techniques, pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones to take risks and challenge themselves. These new skills will be extremely helpful for when the program goes outdoor climbing in the spring. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The GO! Program also got out for an afternoon of skating at Kerrisdale arena and snowboarding at Grouse Mountain. Thank you to Ms. Louis and Ms. David, who joined the group on these excursions. Everyone’s balance drastically improved during these two activities and the excitement was real as new skills were developed!

Finally, the GO! Program has been learning about nutrition and the importance of fueling their bodies with nutrient-rich food while out in the wilderness. Andrea McDonald, a YHS alumna and nutritionist, gave a very informative presentation to the class, passing on valuable and relatable information. The students have implemented this new knowledge by creating trip meal plans and preparing a class brunch together, testing out recipes that can be prepared while out on a trip. 

Coming up after the break, the group looks forward to more adventurous days in the outdoors, including hiking the Stawamus Chief, outdoor climbing in Squamish, and canyoning in Mission. The GO! Program will also be embarking on their next multi-day trip to Tofino at the end of May, and students are thrilled for the return of overnight excursions!

Katrina Brennan
Outdoor Education Coordinator

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Senior School Fall Maker Faire

The Senior School Maker Faire was held on November 30 and December 1 and featured over 40 projects from our Engineering 11, and our ADST 8 and 9 classes. 

At the start of the school year, our Engineering 11 students decided they would like to explore robotics as their primary area of focus. Many of the ADST 8 and 9 students also chose to use their independent projects to learn more about working with circuits and motors. Each project responded in a unique way to a challenge or a need selected by the student. In this interactive experience, you can see each of the student’s projects on display. Select the individual blue buttons to take you to a description of the project, learn about the design decision the students’ made, and what stage they are at in the design process.

The Maker Faire was a wonderful way to showcase the students’ creative thinking, problem solving, resilience, and hard work. We can’t wait to see how these projects progress over the remainder of the year. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Engineering 11
Our Engineering 11 students explored problems that could be solved using robotics. During each class, they document their progress by taking pictures and writing in their journals

Coco, Grade 11, started her exploration of robotics by building a prototype robot called “T-VEX”. She built it to learn about sensors and coding, specifically how to create an autonomous robot that can navigate a space without being controlled by a human. It is now the class pet. Coco has now taken what she has learned and is applying it to another robot, called “Megalodon”, that will tackle the problem of long voting lines. Coco, who is originally from Arizona, saw that there was a problem in Arizona with long voter wait times. She has begun programming a robot (using both the Vex robotics and Arduino systems) that will provide water and information in both English and Spanish to voters waiting in line. 

Grade 10 students Tania and Keisha are working on a motorized backpack to solve the problem of heavy student backpacks. They are designing a robot that carries books and school supplies and follows the user as they walk. Keisha is working on learning to code with sensors in Vex, while Tania has been working on designing and assembling the structure of the robot. 

Grade 10 students Joyce and Jasmine are looking for ways to combat student stress by designing a wearable heart rate monitor and “stress” app. Jasmine is working on the wristband that will read the user’s heart rate and send the data to the app. Joyce has been working on the app which will display alerts from the heart monitor. The app will also use data from an in-app survey to offer suggestions on how the student might cope with their stress, such as guided meditation or breathing exercises. They are currently at the prototyping stage and are working on sending the data from the heart monitor to the app.

Andrea, Grade 11, has come up with the concept for an “Insomnia Mattress”, which she plans to feature a built-in music player/Bluetooth speaker, a breathable hemp-infused top layer, and possibly deliver electrotherapy to help reduce pain. Like many of the students in the class, she is programming an Arudino board, a microcontroller that stores data.

Madeleine, Grade 10, is tackling the issue of drinking and driving with her breathalyzer/key lockbox concept. She envisions that this device would be used at gatherings where alcohol is served (she is targeting young adults). Attendees would drop their car keys into a box upon arrival, and would only be able to retrieve the keys if the attached breathalyzer gave the appropriate BAC reading (blood alcohol concentration). The device has two components. The first part is the breathalyzer with an alcohol sensor that sends data to an Arduino. This component needs to work with the key lockbox which has a “servo” motor that will rotate 90 degrees to open the box once a sensor is triggered. Madeleine is currently working with the Arduino microcontroller to use the data from the sensor to rotate the servo motor.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Grade 9 students Olivia, Rosi, and Hannah are working on “The Grand Gravy Express”. The wheels, motor, and battery pack for the “train” were taken from a remote control car, and is designed to make the passing of gravy at the dinner table a whole lot easier.

Kelly and Helena have designed a cat shelter/house that includes a motorized fan to help keep the cat cool. Liv and Lucy have designed a moving cat food dish with pieces of a remote control car that will help keep a cat active as they “work” for their food. 

Natalie, Skylar, and Emily have designed a motion-activated Halloween prop by repurposing the circuit and parts of an old toy car. The doll has an ultrasonic sensor that triggers the eyes to light up. Potential next steps in the design process would be adding sound effects or making the doll’s head turn.

Emily and Georgia built an automatic squirrel feeder working. The parts from the remote control car did not meet their needs, so they learned to use an Arduino with a servo that opens the slot for the squirrel food to come out.

Other Grade 9 projects include a customized chess set, jewelry box, headphone stand, egg cracker tool, convertible couch sleeve/laptop stand, massage roller, a lamp, and measuring cube.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Grade 8 ADST students have been working on projects such as a paintbrush/pencil holder, laser cut combination lock, flute stand, LED book light, light-up chess piece, and a gumball machine.

See these projects and more in this interactive experience.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.