Recently, three students were given the opportunity to represent our project at an "Innovation in Education" event in Fredericton. We had the chance to share our ideas and our goals with other students being recognized from all over the province. Here's what our students had to say about the event:
Alex Khoshbaktian- "Last month, a few representatives from Sir James Dunn Academy were invited to the Innovation in Education Gala at Bliss Carman Middle School in Fredericton, where projects from all over the province were on display to showcase the scientific achievements being made by students in New Brunswick. We were there to present our greenhouse to the public and to some potential donors to our project. We were visited by many guests who were fascinated by the ways we had implemented modern technology into our greenhouse, including a few who have expressed interest in partnering with us in this project.
In the evening, we attended an award ceremony where we were presented with a certificate for our use of innovation in education which was accompanied by a thousand-dollar grant to further our work in the greenhouse. "
Raeghan O'Leary- "The day started off with setting up our expo table. We took a tomato and apple tree graft plant that we're both at top condition to show off as proof of our large plants. Along with other gardening supplies such as grafting tools and a UV light we brought our Raspberry Pi computer to display our plans for monitoring the greenhouse using technology. 3D printed objects that we have made were also on exhibit, such as a replica of our green space. Once set up our team ventured around looking at other schools amazing and creative projects, learning ourselves what more we could do with our 3D printers and computers. There was then an open house that allowed the community to come in and see everyone's projects. We answered questions about our greenhouse and educated people on how to grow their own plants at home from seed or from us once purchased. After supper we attended an awards banquet where schools with leading edge projects were awarded $1000 dollars to continue their endeavours. Unsuspectedly our school was chosen for the Brilliant Labs Innovation in Education Award, along with the grant. We had a great day full of learning, surprises, and celebration due to our hard work. "
Nathaniel Osbourne- "The innovation in education ceremony was a good opportunity for our greenhouse project to get out there in the community. It allowed us to meet other people with cool and new innovative ideas for the future. It allowed us to make stronger connections through people working with Brilliant Labs which will hopefully allow us to partner with them in the future. We also brainstormed new ideas while we were there to bring home with us to use for ourselves. All in all the ceremony was a huge success and helped us receive recognition for our recent accomplishments. "
We really appreciated being awarded and recognized in such an incredible way. Meeting other students, and sharing our passion, is one of the many reason why we love doing what we do.
This project gives us the ability to combine multiple classes into one incredible learning opportunity. Not only are we using technology skills, we are also learning about science, and business, and even writing.
Recently, I was asked to make a Public Service Announcement for one of my courses, and knew I wanted to do it on this project. The result? More advertising for us, and the ability to do multiple class in less time, with less stress.
The second result? This video:
In order to improve the automation, air quality, and efficiency of our greenhouse, we recently installed two auto-opening vents in the two windows in our greenhouse. We purchased the vents from a company called J. Orbesen Teknik APS, located in Denmark. Yes, the European one. We decided to order them from this company, despite the distance, because they are the best quality vent of their kind. So far, we have been more than satisfied with the quality.
The first vent we purchased is the Gigavent® (left photo), which is designed for large windows that deal with strong winds. Being a coastal town in Atlantic Canada, having a high window means wanting the best quality vent to deal with the wind. The second vent we purchased was the Megavent® (right photo), designed with medium-sized windows in mind. Both vents were installed by our BBT (Broad Basic Technology) students and community volunteers. Both vents open automatically to regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse.
We hope this vents will continue to improve the quality of our greenhouse. If you are interested in buying a temperature-automated window vent, visit: orbesenteknik.com/
A few months ago we discovered some limitations when trying to access certain sites and programs on our school network (internet). As our district IT support team worked diligently to problem solve for solutions, an opportunity appeared in the form of our local community college. The parent of one of the students in our technology class suggested the use of the NBCC St. Andrews Mobile Ideaspace, a 21st Century Technology Learning Centre. They had been established in multiple NBCC locations by Dr. Bill McIver. With a few e-mails, our class had a network we could program on.
The Mobile Ideaspace has incredible technology, including multiple laptops with up to two monitors connected to them, using Windows, Linux, and Apple software. There is also a Smart Board that can be used to video call with other NBCC colleges, as well as a few webcams and microphones for creating quality videos. We are extremely excited and feel very honoured to able use this state of the art resource centre.
We hope the Mobile Ideaspace will continue to open doors in our pursuit to achieve all of our technology goals. We are so grateful to the NBCC staff that have allowed us the opportunity, and we will keep you posted as to what we achieve at the NBCC Mobile Ideaspace.
I know what you're thinking. I thought it too when I first heard the term.
"Raspberry pie? I love raspberry pie! But what does it have to do with our greenhouse?"
Let me tell you, I was very disappointed when I found out what it really was.
First of all, the pi in the name is short for Python, the code language they normally use for the pi, not pie like the food. A raspberry pi is a tiny computer, about the size of a credit card. It can do a lot of things a regular computer does, like browsing the internet, playing games, and programming, which is what we will be using them for. They're also practical for projects like ours, because they only cost $5-$35, depending on the pi.
The reason for the creation of the raspberry pi was to teach kids how to program computers and understand how to use code to automate and create, as well as making them affordable so they could be used in 3rd world countries. With the importance of technology in society today, this skill is more prevalent than ever. The raspberry pi requires an SD card, a USB power source, and a connection to a keyboard and monitor. You can also add modules like cameras, microphones, touchscreens, and more, if you're willing to pay the $20-$30 dollars extra for them.
The raspberry pi is quite confusing if you aren't familiar with coding or its uses. Here's the most important things to remember: it is basically a small computer, it's inexpensive, it runs on a code language called python, and can have modules like touchscreens, cameras, webcams, and microphones installed depending on what you want to use it for.
Still don't understand, but really want to? Check out these websites that I found really helpful!
Or, if you want it directly from the source, or are interested in purchasing a raspberry pi, here's the official website:
Student, gardener, and outspoken writer.