When GREC science teacher Wade Leonard talked his principal into offering a course in drones (and drone mapping) a couple of years ago, he did see a lot of potential.

But he wasn’t all that sure what that potential would be.

“We’re now solving problems we didn’t even know were problems,” he said. “And we’re seeing all sorts of new tendrils of potential.”

Leonard’s program, which teaches students how to fly a drone and what to do with it once they get it up in the air, has already blazed new trails.

For example, they’ve done studies in Alderville for the Black Oak Savanna and Tall Grass Prairie, tracked last summer’s storm damage for Central Frontenac and the Office of Emergency Preparedness Ontario, done a study of a maple sugar bush, tracked milfoil in North Frontenac lakes, several projects for Central Frontenac included a 3D model of the Caboose in Sharbot Lake, trail mapping and volume of the Olden dump (which even shows trails where bears have dragged off bags of garbage) and are scheduled to create a database of headstones in North Frontenac.

“Our first field trip was to the Black Oak Savanna for the Alderville First Nation,” he said. “We got looking at it and learned that the grass is in colonies — you could see individual plants and colony density became the basis for an ecological study.

“You can’t get that from a satellite because not only does the image have to go through the entire atmosphere, it’s always at an angle and you’ll never see individual plants.”

Each job brings something new.

“When we did a project for Wheeler’s Maple Products to see what might be the best route for the sap lines, we discovered that we could do elevation data,” he said. “We didn’t know we could do elevation data until we got there.”

That’s become useful for other projects as well. For example, they’ve discovered they can see the bottom of a lake in 15 feet of water. They have images of how effective the Malcolm/Ardoch Lakes burlap methodology has been.

“And the Tryon Road severe weather research . . . lots of people were interested in that,” he said. “We saw the extent of the damage.

“We’ve filled a gap.”

And they’ve even attracted the attention of some professors at Carleton University.

“Professor Jesse Vermaire told us ‘we don’t do this on the scale you can,’” Leonard said. “He said ‘we’re doing it on scales of metres and you’re doing it in hectares.’

“We’re going to Carleton to talk to him and some other professors.”

Leonard said his program fits in well with the “Authentic Learning” program at GREC, which also includes their forestry program.

“It’s solving real world problems,” he said. “Through inception, planning, execution, analysis and communication.”

To that extent, he’s changed up his program slightly, making students responsible for setting up dates, looking at weather forecasts for the proposed flight, where to fly and even consulting and communicating with the partner for the mission.

“We’ve got it set up now so everything is hyperlinked for the students such as permission forms, pre-flight, and the students do it all themselves,” he said.

And, with changes in regulations coming in June, students 14 and older will be able fly the drones themselves.

“My read on the new regulations is that not only will the students be licensed but potentially will be able to conduct missions.”

Where this program will lead is anybody’s guess but they’re already breaking new ground continuously.

“Context is everything,” Leonard said. “This is such a new area and we’re the only program in Ontario schools that does mapping.

“We’ve just been out there poking around and stumbled on some techniques that haven’t been done before.”

Sounds like their techniques will be used quite a bit in days to come.

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to see some of the videos Leonard and his charges have made, have a look at his YouTube channel Wade W Leonard.

Published in NORTH FRONTENAC
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 12:30

LARC Opens Daycare at NAEC for Little Vikings

If you have an infant or preschool child, then you understand the trials and tribulations of finding reliable, affordable, safe care for your child when you return to work. Many families in our communities, and in communities across Ontario and Canada struggle with access to childcare.

On January 7, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC) opened a new daycare centre in Cloyne at North Addington Education Centre (NAEC). The centre provides licensed daycare services for children from the ages of 0-6.  Additionally, LARC offers before and after school programs for school-age kids.

The daycare offers care from 7am to 6pm. It has three rooms. The infant room is for children up to 18 months, the toddler room for children ranging from 18-30 months and finally, the pre-school room is for children from 30 months until school age.

Supervisor, Hannah Lough, says that a typical day includes indoor and outdoor play such as science investigations.

NAEC is proud to welcome Lydia Keller and Dallas Arney, NAEC alumni, who will be joining Hannah Lough and Krystle Keller, who have been running the afterschool program, as staff educating the Little Vikings.

Darlene Armer, Executive Director of LARC, explains that the program is for all children. Subsidies are available for families to offset the costs associated with childcare.  LARC daycare is licensed by the Ministry of Education. The program follows these guidelines, such as providing nutritional lunches and snacks and giving receipts to parents to use at income tax time.

If you would like to have more information about how to register for LARC or how to apply for subsidized payments, please contact Hannah at 613-336-6825 or Darlene at 613-354-6318.

Mary Hasler, age 3, was the first student to arrive at LARC on January 7. She enthusiastically picked out her cubby and got ready to go to preschool.

Published in ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS
Wednesday, 09 January 2019 12:16

GREC’s Great Canoe Journey

On Friday, December 14, GREC’s Indigenous Studies class welcomed Christine Craig to their classroom to present a workshop as part of their participation in the Great Canoe Journey.

Ms. Craig took the students through a presentation in which she shared the knowledge she was given by Elders and knowledge keepers during a visit to British Columbia. The teachings centred around the Indigenous World View, particularly with respect to water. It stressed the importance of water conservation and preservation, and the challenges to these brought about by agriculture and industry.

Part of the Great Canoe Journey’s program, as well as education, is a challenge to students to do something to promote water conservation and preservation. GREC’s Indigenous Studies class chose to connect the Voyageur culture and Metis Dot Art teachings they received from Candace Lloyd with the Great Canoe Journey, by dot-painting canoe paddles.

The class had already started their paddle painting prior to the workshop, and were proud to show Ms. Craig their work. Ms. Craig was impressed with the quality of the work, and said she had visited many classes, but this was the first one to do this kind of project for The Great Canoe Journey.

For more information on the Great Canoe Journey, visit:

https://waterlution.org/great-canoe-journey/

Published in Lanark County
Wednesday, 09 January 2019 12:15

More Christmas Drawings

We couldn’t quite let the season go without including a few more drawings. These ones were done by students at Land O’Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove (LOLPS) and Clarendon Central Public School (CCPS) in Plevna.


Karly Brown grade 1 CCPS

Karley Brown, grade 1, CCPS


Emily grade 3 LOLPS

Emily, grade 3 LOLPS


Abby Brown grade 3 CCPS

Abby Brown, grade 3, CCPS


Paige grade 4 LOLPS

Paige, grade 4, LOLPS


And while we are on the subject of Christmas, we published an article on Armenian Christmas traditions, including a recipe for Anoush Abour, Armenian Christmas Pudding.

Over the holidays I made Anoush Abour for the first time, and can now report that it is a delicious, not too sweet, dessert. Skinless Wheat Berries (also know as Pearled Wheat), the main ingredient, are available mostly in Middle Eastern Grocery stores but pealed barley can be used in the recipe if necessary. While making the Anoush Abour I came across some information that did not get in the original article.

It turns out that Anoush Abour goes way back, to old testament times.

The story goes that Noah and his family and all the animals he crammed into the Ark were running out of food while it continued to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. So Noah began boiling a big pot of water and asked everyone to bring them what was left. In went wheat and dried fruit and whatever else his family could find, as the giraffes and elephants looked on. As he was cooking the mixture, the rain stopped and Noah and his posse came to miraculously land on the "mountains of Ararat," according to the Book of Genesis. Mount Ararat is located just outside of Yerevan, the capital City of Armenia.

Published in General Interest

Sculptor Stefan Duerst likes teaching. That’s probably why he accepted a position as artist-blacksmith teacher at Sir Sanford Fleming College.

But he also enjoys teaching kids and as such, his studio at the Godfrey Sculpture Park has become a classroom of late.

He’s been holding classes through the fall and last Saturday, held a class that wasn’t tied to his home-schooling endeavours.

“This was a ‘mini-intro’ where I talk about steel and why it can bend and twist when hot,” he said. “And the students get to make a useful item like a fire poker or hook.

“I love to teach and I love to teach kids.”

He started his teaching odyssey two years ago with the home-school group his kids are in.

“With all the technology these days dumbing everything down, it’s important for kids to learn to work with their hands,” he said. “Hopefully, it ignites something in them.

“After all, somebody’s got to build the houses.”

It’s not that he’s against computers, he uses them on a daily basis. But there is such a thing as balance.

“How long does it take for a five-year-old to learn how to swipe a finger?” he said. “And, I’m very much against using computers as baby-sitters.”

And for him, there are instant rewards.

“They (his students) totally get into it,” he said. “For me, that’s awesome even if they never do it again.

“And it is very good for hand-eye coordination.”

That’s a big part of it for one of his students on this Saturday, Kaitlyn Perry.

“I just like metal-working,” she said. “I’m taking metal-working at Lasalle.

“I like working with the hammer — the lighter one.”

And that’s just fine with Duerst, in fact, he approves of the lighter hammer.

“Size doesn’t matter,” Duerst said. “It’s velocity.

“Some of the bigger ones hammer three times and they’re out of gas.”

Kaitlyn’s younger brother, Mason, was a bit more pragmatic about it.

“This (the lessons) was a Christmas present from our parents,” he said. “I like to see the design when it’s done.”

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 12:46

GREC’s Great Canoe Journey

On Friday, December 14, GREC’s Indigenous Studies class welcomed Christine Craig to their classroom to present a workshop as part of their participation in the Great Canoe Journey.

Ms. Craig took the students through a presentation in which she shared the knowledge she was given by Elders and knowledge keepers during a visit to British Columbia. The teachings centred around the Indigenous World View, particularly with respect to water. It stressed the importance of water conservation and preservation, and the challenges to these brought about by agriculture and industry.

Part of the Great Canoe Journey’s program, as well as education, is a challenge to students to do something to promote water conservation and preservation. GREC’s Indigenous Studies class chose to connect the Voyageur culture and Metis Dot Art teachings they received from Candace Lloyd with the Great Canoe Journey, by dot-painting canoe paddles.

The class had already started their paddle painting prior to the workshop, and were proud to show Ms. Craig their work. Ms. Craig was impressed with the quality of the work, and said she had visited many classes, but this was the first one to do this kind of project for The Great Canoe Journey.

For more information on the Great Canoe Journey, visit: waterlution.org/great-canoe-journey/

Published in Lanark County
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 14:58

Metis Rendezvous

Mr. Flegal’s grade three/four class at Granite Ridge Education Centre class was honoured to have local Métis community members, Candace Lloyd and Nicholas Delbaere-Sawchuck, visit and share their knowledge and teachings through guided discussion and questions last week,. Students learned about the Métis culture and the significance of the sash and the colours they used. They engaged in a finger weaving technique used for sash-making and created their own mini bracelet.  Candace and Nicholas introduced the students to Métis music and the basic steps of “jigging”, a traditional Métis dance.  

The Indigenous Studies and Indigenous English classes (and a couple of other visitors) also learned jigging from Candace Lloyd.  It was a very energetic and fun workshop, which required fans and open windows.  Ms. Lloyd also taught the students the traditional Metis method of dot-painting, and students made a collaborative work of art consisting of “tree cookies” (disks cut from the limb of a birch tree).  

Candace Lloyd is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario and Elected Secretary Treasure of High Land Waters Metis Community Council. This council is a chartered council of Métis Nation of Ontario.  She is a Traditional Knowledge Holder for Métis Way of Life.

Giant Indigenous Map

In addition to the Métis Rendezvous, students and staff had the opportunity to walk across Canada last week.  The Canadian Geographic Society’s Giant Indigenous Map was laid out in the gym and various Elementary and Secondary classes visited and learned a variety of lessons.  On one of the days, Gillianne Mundell, the Indigenous Consultant from the LDSB, led students through some learning experiences.  

There are very few post-contact place names on the map, so students and staff struggled to orient themselves.  Students learned about a variety of subjects, including climate change, treaties, language, and residential schools.

Published in CENTRAL FRONTENAC
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 12:09

Community Builder Awards

The Township of Addington Highlands awarded the Community Builder Awards at the Township’s Annual Christmas Dinner on November 23, 2018.

The Committee added new categories to the list of awards this year and named a  Sportsperson of the Year and Emerging Youth Leader.

Joel Hasler was presented with the Sportsperson of the Year Award, this award is to recognize an individual who has dedicated their time to sport in our community. These are individuals have demonstrated leadership, encouraged sport ethics and fair play and contributed to improving sport opportunities in the community. These individuals are positive role models or have made exceptional contributions within the sporting community.

Avery Cuddy was presented with the Emerging Youth Leader Award, this award is to recognize an individual who has been a positive role model, who demonstrates strong leadership qualities and who has contributed to the community individually or as part of a team. Individuals who inspire volunteerism in others through their own initiative, enthusiasm and commitment.

The Township of Addington Highlands thanks all those who help build a better Community and congratulates this year’s recipients.

Published in ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS
Wednesday, 07 November 2018 11:14

NAEC Trick or Eat

The students of North Addington Education Centre suited up on October 31st in their Campbell’s Soup Costumes, to collect items for the food bank.

About ten secondary students were spread out between Flinton, Northbrook, and Cloyne to collect non-perishable food items, instead of tricking or treating for candy. The students are not strangers to supporting the community who supports them.

This is the eighth year for the very successful event. We visited as many households as possible, but we know that some houses were missed- especially those on back roads, or not in a very central area. If you have food that you would like for us to pick up, please call Candice Bovard throughout the week at 613-336-8991.

On behalf of students and staff, the principal, James Bonham-Carter, would like to thank the community for their contributions to our food drive efforts over the years: “It’s so great to see how everyone takes care of each other. Teaching children academics is only one part of the bigger picture; we need to teach them how to be good people too. A big thank you to the community for investing in our children”.

Items can also be dropped off at North Addington, in the main office.

Published in ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS
Thursday, 01 November 2018 11:32

Bat cave a big hit at Kennebec Halloween party

“There aren’t as many children in the community as there were when we started this 16 years ago, but we do have more grandparents coming out and they seem to be enjoying themselves,” said Wanda Harrison, chief organizer of Kennebec Rec’s annual kids Halloween party. “Actually, we do have a couple of new families this year and even one baby lumberjack.”

Many things are still the same as they have been many years.

For instance, Barbara Kirkland is still the “tattoo expert” and Diane Nicholson organizes the costume parade. Kent Smith and Lorne Hiltz were in the kitchen cooking hot dogs.

But one thing that changes every year is what goes on in the basement.

This year, it was a bat cave.

“This is our fourth year,” said Connie Tryan, who manages to transform the lower level of Kennebec Hall with her husband Boyd (“I just do what she tells me, even at home.”)

“We’ve done pirates, witches, and a haunted house.

“This year, we were studying stalactites at kids club and decided on a bat cave after feedback from the kids, some of whom have been down here two or three times now.”

Published in CENTRAL FRONTENAC
Page 1 of 18

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