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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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Outdoor Education: GO Program, Grade 12 Hiking Adventure, and SK-Grade 3 Forest Days

Grade 12 Outdoor Ed:
On October 12, the Grade 12s travelled to Squamish for a one-day hiking adventure accompanied by Canada West Mountain School guides and YHS staff. This was a fantastic opportunity for Grade 12 students to get outside and bond with their peers as they start their grad year! Students had the opportunity to select their route and level of challenge for the day, hiking up either Mount Crumpit or the Stawamus Chief. Pushing  themselves and stepping out of their comfort zones, the students reached the summits collectively as a group, enjoying the rewarding view of the Howe Sound. The day was filled with big smiles and lots of laughter, and was a welcomed break from studying and university applications. 

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GO Program:
The GO (“Get Outside”) Program is the YHS Grade 10 Outdoor Education program and includes a cohort of 12 students this year. Students have selected this program as an opportunity to get outside more, explore, and become competent and mindful outdoor enthusiasts. The course is designed to be an experience of a lifetime and filled with opportunities for experiential learning and personal growth. Its aim is to promote self-discovery, leadership, interactive social skills, teamwork, as well as provide a more holistic understanding of the natural world through adventure and environmental education. 

This fall, students have embarked on afternoon excursions of kayaking at Jericho Beach and biking along the Arbutus Greenway, both in preparation for potential multi-day excursions in the new year. They also embarked on a full-day of hiking on the North Shore in Lynn Canyon. These excursions were opportunities for students to develop and improve their skills, as well as learn how to work together successfully to accomplish a task. 

On November 19th, the GO students were thrilled to embark on the first overnight trip in the past two years! Accompanied by Ms. Brennan, Ms. Raaflaub, and CWMS guides, the group traveled to Cheakamus River for a two-day hiking and camping trip. Over the course of the two days, students put into practice many of the new outdoor skills that they had acquired, including: knot tying, setting up tents and tarps, fire building, cooking over a stove, setting a bear hang, and staying warm during winter camping. The trip was an absolute success and a major highlight was gathering together around the campfire in the evening, making smores and sharing stories about the infamous Sasquatch!

The group continues the development of their skills, recently completing their Backcountry First Aid training and preparing for their Avalanche Safety Training in the upcoming weeks. These certifications will prepare the group for more multi-day adventures in the new year!

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Grade 1, 2 and 3 Forest Days:
In October and November, Grades 1, 2 and 3 participated in full-day excursions to Pacific Spirit Park to explore and immerse themselves in the wonders and beauty of the forest. Led by Ms. Katrina Brennan and Ms. Claire David, the students hiked through the forest on trails and small paths, learning about the plants and animals that call the BC forests home. Stopping periodically along the way, the groups engaged in creative and imaginative play, with activities designed to educate students about the environment and foster comfort and curiosity about the natural world. Embracing nature as an exciting new playground, the students enjoyed building forest forts, testing out their balancing and climbing skills, and getting their hands dirty as they fully engaged in the experience. 

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SK Forest Day:
For the first time ever, the SKs also participated in a Forest Day this fall! This was an exciting and thrilling experience for the Apples and Oranges, starting off with the bus ride, which was a first for many of the students! Traveling to Pacific Spirit Park for the morning, the students stepped out of their comfort zones, learning how to move and explore in nature. Through creative play and experiential learning, the SKs increased their confidence and independence over the course of excursion, embracing all the wonders of the natural world and beginning their life journey as outdoor enthusiasts.

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