Thursday, 31 March 2016

Thank you Cenovus!

Have you seen Healthy Living School at Vivo's thank you to Cenovus yet?

We hope it makes you smile as much as it did us!  Campus Calgary/Open Minds is a collaboration of education, community, & corporate partners.

Like each of these students, we're so thankful to funders like Cenovus as educational partners at 11 community sites.

This post first appeared on

Friday, 18 March 2016

From Campus Calgary/Open Minds, Thank you Drivers!

Photo credit: J. Danchuk
Campus Calgary/Open Minds salutes our many drivers for getting students safely between Calgary's many vibrant learning environments!  As a collaboration of education, community, & corporate partners we recognize your hard work and passion in caring for our city and students!  For City Hall School , Calgary Transit  gets students to the Municipal Building each day. Thank you Calgary Transit drivers!  We appreciate you!

To our partners at Southland at ten of our Campus Calgary/Open Minds sites, thank you, too!  With 233 weeks of programming in 15/16 and the many schools you service before and after each school day, thank you drivers, for your care, concern, and kindness!
Thank you Southland from @CBE_Partners

Thank you from Campus Calgary/Open Minds!

Campus Calgary/Open Minds is for all Calgary students and your role in getting learners to and from each learning-filled day is inspiring!

This post originally appeared on 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Playgrounds By Design

Big Idea:  How does play contribute to how we belong?
A Grade 1 class from John Costello explored their own playground and the ravine area near the school to begin thinking about places we play.  They were keeping their community in mind, and the fact that soon a new play park would be underway.  

What would be a good design?  How could that contribute to belonging and community?

Students arrived for their custom designed week at Science School wearing bright yellow t-shirts announcing their intention to show Courage, Commitment, Curiosity and Collaboration as they explored their Big Idea with Donna Kipta, Coordinator Chevron Open Minds Science School at TELUS SPARK.

The scaffolding of learning began with students learning about exhibit design by Fluor Champion of Engineering Communication, Kat Dornian.  They also got a short visit from Meghan, who shared about programming in the Creative Kids Museum.  She talked about the importance of understanding that not everyone likes the same kinds of activities (so you need to provide variety.)  This explained the need to have a sense of "empathy" as part of the design process.  For example, quiet reflective spaces in parks or exhibit galleries are important.  From these conversations, students gathered some ideas about what might be important for their own designs. 

What better way to explore play than by being outside at the Brainasium at TELUS Spark.  Students played in the park and sketched their favorite play experience and equipment and then took a completely different perspective and mapped out a bird’s eye view of the layout of the Brainasium.  That gave them the opportunity to talk about what else might be important when designing for a purpose.   “Grass is for worms to hide and trees clean the air and have birds. When we build playgrounds, that’s important too.”

Then it was time to take a critical look at parks around the world.  Students offered thumbs up and thumbs down and shared their thoughts on good design with Donna and Ali.  Grade 1s know what they like!  And surprise, it’s not always the same. 
The Grade 1s, alongside parents, teacher, and site coordinators co-constructed a list of design criteria based on the learning.  Students drew upon all their ideas to create a collaborative design plan of their own park.  Feedback contributed to their design plans which they eagerly shared.

With tables of materials to inspire creation, students incorporated their new insights to create a physical model of their park.  The structural pieces were intended to be movable – for potential future iterations of the park in this design process.  A stop motion animation character travelled through their combined designs in an iMovie to celebrate the week of learning.

And the journey continues back at John Costello School!

Submitted by Ita Kistorma CCSD