Reflecting back on 2016, MindFuel has much to celebrate. Our mandate of encouraging students to pursue STEM-related careers continues to grow in new and exciting ways. All of our programs (Wonderville, edacity and Ignition Packs) are funded by generous government and corporate partners. A big thank you! We value these relationships.

Here is a brief recap of some of our 2016 work.

Solving real world problems

CTVinterview

University of Calgary iGEM team being interviewed by CTV

Creating the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers involves students identifying real world issues that need solutions. This year, our geekStarter program had teams from junior high, high school and university spending hours of extracurricular time working on topics such as

– remediating soil on Mars for agricultural purposes

– astronaut patch which protects them from radiation exposure 

– developing a fast-acting clotting agent using snake venom to be used for remote incidents, and

-creating a bio-agent to better break down keratin in wastewater treatment plants.

These students, and their mentors, volunteer their time and compete with their projects on a global level at competitions such as iGEM. We are so proud of their accomplishments. These are our future scientists, researchers, doctors and inventors.

Innovation

Innovation Exchange Artwork

Sam Hester created a visual representation of the Innovation Exchange event as it was unfolding

Can innovation be taught?

Can innovation be measured?

How does it show up in the classroom? Our office? At home?

Why does innovation matter?

At this year’s inaugural Innovation Exchange, jointly hosted by MindFuel, the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Edmonton Public Schools, thought-leaders from government, education, industry, startup and non-profit, and students came together to discuss innovation, STEM, creativity and education reform. Soon we will have the research topics to be pursued based on the themes that emerged at the interactive session.

Digital natives and digital learning platforms

To be current with students who have grown up with screens all around them, we have Wonderville.org. our award-winning learning resource was updated this spring with a new look and feel and brand new resources for teachers – Educators’ Gateway. Here, teachers have access to ready-to-teach lessons plans, quizzes, assessments, free-student accounts and real-time reporting. Aligned with Alberta’s curriculum, Wonderville supports learning outcomes around the world and is used in 190 countries. Stay tuned for new content being added in 2017!

Happy New Year!