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Sukhman Brar, a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary, took first place in electrical wiring at the BC Skills competition and will now compete at nationals in June.
Four Surrey students have earned a trip to the 24th-annual Skills Canada National competition after winning gold at the provincial level.
The BC Skills competition welcomed hundreds of secondary and post-secondary students from throughout the province to the Tradex in Abbotsford April 18, competing in an array of diverse fields, including welding, aerospace, baking and web design.
The gold medal winners from Surrey Schools were:
The quartet will now represent B.C. at nationals in Edmonton June 4-5.
That was only a portion of the medal haul by Surrey students competing at the Skills BC contest, as five other competitors brought back silver and bronze awards:
Yejin Park - Baking (Fraser Heights Secondary)
Jaden Spies - Electrical Wiring (Kwantlen Park Secondary)
Summer Chen & Christine Lee- 2D Computer Animation (Fraser Heights Secondary)
Marshall Ryan - Website Design (Earl Marriott Secondary)
L.A. Matheson Secondary student Gunreet Kaur plans to enter her Punjabi writing in this year's Dhahan Prize Youth Award for Creative Writing contest.
The Dhahan Prize has, for the second year, launched its youth Punjabi creative writing contest, while celebrating last year’s winning students with a published anthology of their work.
The literature prize encourages youth to connect to their mother tongue and preserve their culture through storytelling. Once again, eight prizes valued at $500 apiece will be awarded to Grade 11 and 12 students throughout B.C. who are enrolled in Punjabi language classes.
At the contest launch at L.A. Matheson (LAM) Secondary, Dhahan Prize founder Barj Dhahan spoke to the crowd about the importance of language in generating an inclusive and caring society.
“We hope this will continue to inspire our youth to write, not only in Punjabi, but also in English,” he said, “and by inference, hopefully it will inspire youth to write in other languages as well.”
The contest launch also served as an opportunity to unveil an anthology, titled Lofty Heights, showcasing the work of last year’s winning eight writers. The stories are printed in English, as well as Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi scripts. (Next year, it will also include French.)
Gurpreet Bains, teacher and head of the language department at LAM, is thrilled the winning youth writers have been published in a book that can also be used as a resource for educators.
“Instead of building walls that separate us, we are building bridges out of our students’ words,” she said.
Grade 12 LAM student Gunreet Kaur plans to enter the contest this year, and is excited to express herself and share her experiences through writing,
“It provides a voice to all the exemplary ideas within the youth,” Kaur said. “The Dhahan Youth Prize is a unique opportunity for B.C. youth to build bridges between people and communities, regardless of background, heritage and ethnicity. Nelson Mandela said it right: If you talk to a man in his language, it goes straight to his heart.”
Stories must be between 800 and 1,000 words, written in Punjabi and translated to English. The submission deadline is May 31.
For more information, visit dhahanprize.com/youth
(Left to right) L.A. Matheson Secondary teacher Sandeep Parhar, Dhahan Prize founder Barj Dhahan, PLEA member and Dhahan Prize advisor Sadhu Binning, L.A. Matheson modern languages department head Gurpreet Bains, and Coast Capital Savings representative Ian Samson.
Grade 8 students Stuti Sharma and Cheryl Chen, who attend Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL), won in the Novice category at the recent provincial debate championship.
When SAIL (Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning) students Cheryl Chen and Stuti Sharma started a debate club at their school last fall, they never imagined that just months later, they'd walk away from provincials with the novice championship cup. In fact, they thought there might have been a mistake.
"It was a really big surprise," said Chen. "When they started to hand us the trophy, we were like…no, this can't be..."
"We got third place at regionals, so we thought there was no way we'd win provincials," said Sharma.
Indeed, the Grade 8 students qualified to compete at the Law Foundation Cup – considered the provincial championships of the school debating world – after performing well at the Lower Mainland East Regional Debate Championships in January.
In addition to three impromptu rounds for which competitors from across B.C. had just 30 minutes to prepare their arguments, participants also had to debate both for and against a "motion," or topic, provided in advance: Should there be a youth quota in parliament?
Competition was stiff, but Chen and Sharma concentrated on enjoying the "electric" atmosphere and taking in the experience.
"With our partnership, we always focus on making friends, so it takes some of the pressure off," said Sharma.
The pair established SPSDS – the SAIL Public Speaking & Debate Society – in September. Eager to continue the debate experience they'd had in Grade 7, they started recruiting, marketing it as more of a social endeavour than an argumentative environment.
The team now has about 15 members.
"There are only 50 people in the school, so debate really brings them together," said Sharma.
The two are proud of their team, and Chen said they've noticed some residual benefits, as well.
"It really impacts their work ethic," she said.
Surrey Board of Education chair Laurie Larsen, Minister of Education Rob Fleming and Surrey board vice-chair Terry Allen.
Surrey Board of Education chair Laurie Larsen and vice-chair Terry Allen met with Minister of Education Rob Fleming and his senior ministry staff to discuss the review of the education funding formula and the ongoing need for school construction in the district.
The minister provided an opportunity to discuss the pressures of explosive growth in the district and the desire to significantly reduce the need to educate students in portable classrooms.
"There is no replacement for the opportunity to meet face-to-face and to talk about our common desire to meet the needs of our schools and community," says Larsen.
Larsen added she and trustee Allen were pleased to receive the invitation to meet with the minister, calling the meeting purposeful and productive.
Students from Cambridge Elementary had barely taken a seat at South Surrey Indoor Pool when they were faced with their first question: If you held a glass of air and a glass of water, which one would be heavier?
"Water!" the students answered in unison.
It was an easy question, followed by one that was a little trickier: Why?
"Because there are more particles in water," they reply, much to relief of their teacher, Dave Morrison.
Morrison has been teaching the Grade 6/7 students about the particle model, density, mass, pressure, buoyancy and more during science lessons for several weeks. On this day, the kids will learn to scuba dive, showing them they can use their knowledge in the real world.
The students received the pre-dive briefing and safety talk from professional diving instructor Shannon Kozak from Ocean Pro Divers before hitting the pool.
Before diving in, it's essential they understand why they may feel pressure in their "air spaces," like sinuses and lungs, and not in other parts of the body. They must also know when and how to equalize that pressure.
"Blow air out your nose. Yawn. Ascend slowly," the students offer.
Most importantly, says Kozak, "Always breathe and never hold your breath!"
A review of hand signals and the students are ready for the water. They don their gear – air tanks, regulators, masks, snorkels, BCD's (buoyancy control devices) – and learn the ropes in shallow water until they're able to fully submerge, eventually graduating to the deep end of the pool. The smiles when they do surface are evidence this is the chance of a lifetime for many of the students.
"They learn so much more when it's hands-on like this," says Morrison, a longtime scuba diver whose program is believed to be the only one of its kind in B.C.
Over two weeks, all the Grade 6 and 7 students at Cambridge will have similar sessions at the pool.
Upon completion of the program, students receive a "Discover Scuba" certificate and can use their introductory training as part of their full certification training, if they wish.
Surrey students who completed the 2018 RCMP Youth Academy were recognized at a graduation ceremony April 5.
Thirteen Surrey students have successfully completed this year's RCMP Youth Academy.
The students were recognized for their success at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, April 5.
The RCMP Lower Mainland Youth Academy is an established and formalized partnership between Coquitlam, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond RCMP detachments and their respective school districts, including Surrey Schools.
This year, the academy was held March 28 to April 5 at Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre, south of Cultus Lake in the Columbia Valley at Lindell Beach. The eight-day program welcomed 50 Grade 11 and 12 students who aspire to a career in policing.
Candidates undergo a stringent selection process conducted by schools, districts and detachments, and the academy gives candidates an opportunity to experience police training and partake in police work simulations. At the end of the experience, students have a better sense of whether they want to continue to focus on policing as a career.
The academy attempts to provide a brief representation of some common policing scenarios. Participants observe and role-play several scenarios, including mock demonstrations of domestic violence, break and enters, traffic violations, arrests, searches, and even a mock court. Each troop of 10 is exposed to one night of scenarios, which go into the late hours.
Many successful candidates have made the decision pursue a career in policing. The RCMP prefers candidates build up some life experience prior to engagement. The average age of an RCMP recruit is 28.
A 2001 study of candidates who attended the youth academy in the mid 1990's showed 80 percent of the Youth Academy attendees pursued a career in law enforcement or in related occupations, such as becoming a lawyer or a probation worker.
Applications for the RCMP Youth Academy are accepted in November of each school year. Information and applications are available through school career centres.
North Surrey Secondary's Team 6390 Hephaestus after their recent win at regionals in Victoria, which advanced them to the world competition in Texas April 18-21.
North Surrey Secondary's robotics team is once again headed to the World Championships in Texas.
Team 6390 Hephaestus was part of the winning alliance at the recent Canadian Pacific Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Victoria – an achievement that earned them a spot to compete in the global arena later this month.
Alliance members – which also included Team 1241 Theory 6 from Mississaugua, Ont. and Rookie Team 7173 Iris Robotics from Maple Ridge – defeated teams from across Canada, as well as two teams from California.
North Surrey's squad not only came home with the regional championship banner, but won several other accolades, including the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award, celebrating "outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team's school and community."
Teacher Julie Occleshaw, who serves as administrative coach and a lead mentor for the team, was named the 2018 Woodie Flowers Award winner for using her excellent communication skills to lead, inspire and empower Team 6390 Hephaestus.
And Grade 11 student Adi Poluri was given a Dean's List Finalist Award, which celebrates outstanding student leaders "whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary."
The FIRST Championship takes place April 18-21 in Houston. Due to the high travel costs, the team will be bringing just nine students this year.
Occleshaw said the robotics team would welcome donations and community/corporate sponsorships, not only to support the Texas trip, but to ensure the long-term sustainability of the team.
Anyone interested in making a donation can mail it to North Surrey Secondary (15945 96 Ave., Surrey, B.C. V4N 2R8), noting it is for the robotics team. Donations over $25 are eligible for a tax receipt.
For anyone interested in becoming a team sponsor, information can be found on the Team 6390 Hephaestus website, under the Sponsorship tab, or by contacting Occleshaw directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-930-5343.
Surrey Schools is once again offering the YELL (Young Entrepreneurship and Leadership Launchpad) program to students entering Grades 10, 11 or 12 this September.
Based on university entrepreneurship programs, as well as best practices from Silicon Valley, the course is not only for students who are interested in business and innovation, but those keen on learning more about how the world works and putting their ideas into action.
Students will have the opportunity to work with mentors, develop a ground-breaking business concept and compete in a venture competition.
This is the second year Surrey Schools is offering YELL.
Classes are two-and-a-half hours on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth Secondary from September 2018 to May 2019. Students who successfully complete the course will get credit for Entrepreneurship 12.
An information open house will be held April 11, 4:30 p.m. at QE Secondary (9457 King George Blvd.).
Students from Surrey's Tamanawis Secondary who were selected to be part of the 65-member MusiCounts StarBand ensemble.
Fifteen students from Tamanawis Secondary have been chosen to be in a student wind orchestra that will perform during a lead-up celebration to the JUNO Awards.
More than 65 students from Lower Mainland schools are part of the MusiCounts StarBand. Members of the band are from schools that received instrument grants through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program. Tamanawis is the only Surrey school participating.
The ensemble is led by Education Chair, 2018 JUNO Host Committee and 2013 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award recipient Mark Reid.
The group will perform during a celebration called Let's hear it: LIVE! On March 24, 3-4 p.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza (750 Hornby St.)
The free, all ages event will also feature a performance by JUNO Award winner Dear Rouge.
Check HERE for more information.
The Capital Project Office is proud to announce the launch of the School Construction Progress Chart, a new tool to track the development of approved projects in the district.
The chart, updated weekly, features status information on the design and construction of all approved projects, including new schools, expansions and seismic upgrades. A project is considered approved once funding has been committed from the Ministry of Education.
Parents can visit the chart to check on the current status of various projects and learn more about new schools in their area.
The Project Details page, located in the side menu, expands on the chart with detailed information on each project, including recent approvals and target dates for tender award and occupancy. Each project has its own page with maps, renderings, sketch plans, site plans, floor plans, videos and related documents.
The Future Projects page lists projects that await funding approval from the Ministry of Education, ranked in order of priority. Once funding is achieved for a school on the Future Projects page, it will be added to the chart.
Feedback on any of the projects can be directed through the online public consultation platform PlaceSpeak at placespeak.com/sd36capitalplan.