MONTREAL, JUNE 15, 2016 - More than 900 students from the English Montreal School Board took part in this year`s OSEntreprendre (http://www.osentreprendre.quebec/en),
formally the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest, contributing to 76 projects.
EMSB Career Development Consultant Travis Hall works in The Educational and Technology Services Department and promotes the contest to schools. His role includes providing support to the teachers through resources, training, and consultation. The department also offers grants to further support the schools and turn their students’ ideas into reality.
Below is a look at the schools which won prizes this year.
“FORGET ME KNOT” by the students at Nesbitt School in Rosemount was the Local Winner at the Elementary Cycle 1 Level.
The project was inspired during the winter which is a time that often leads to many missing items at an elementary school. When the teacher. Ms. Carmela Macri, kept finding single gloves in the lost and found box, she didn’t know what to do with them. Her students asked if they could be recycled. Ms. Macri recognized the comment to be an excellent opportunity for learning. She asked her students to brainstorm on the idea of recycling. This led to the idea of using a stuffed glove as a pencil and notepad holder. The students were especially proud of their idea to tie a string around the index finger to symbolize, “remembering something.” The money the students made from selling the notepads was donated to the World Wildlife Federation of Canada.
“BRAIN AWARENESS PROJECT” by the students at Leonardo da Vinci Academy in RDP was the Local Winner at the Elementary Cycle 2 level.
Their project was inspired when Ms. Sabrina Gavita informed her students that March was Brain Tumor Awareness Month and asked them what they would like to learn about the brain. Under her guidance the students began researching various related topics. Ms. Gavita’s students become genuinely fascinated by the topic and asked if they could share what they learned with the rest of the school. The students created posters based on their research and advertised a “Brain Awareness” event around the school so they could more easily educate others on what they had learned. The idea to sell popcorn came next. The event was a success! The students presented their findings and carried out a huge fundraiser. The school raised $4,500 which was donated to the Montreal Neurological Hospital.
“LOYAL LEADERS” by the students at Pierre Elliot Trudeau School in Rosemount was the Local Winner at the Elementary Cycle 3 level
Loyal leaders is a program organized by students in the school with guidance from the school’s Behavioral Technician, Ms. Lucie Buono. The students participating in the program rotate each month. They are responsible to find or create games that are interactive, fun, and adaptable for all the school’s students, including those with special needs. Each morning they prepare all the activities and animate the games during recess and lunch to insure everyone has a great time. This is either done outside or inside depending on the weather conditions. The students aim in running the program is to reduce the amount of conflict found on the school playground during recess and lunch. When activities are completed Ms. Buono encourages the students to reflect upon what went well and what they may want to improve or change for the next time.
ACTORS GUILD OF JFK by the students at John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel was the
Local Winner at the Secondary Cycle 1 level.
There was no drama class offered at the school this year, so students with a passion for this art decided to create a guild. With guidance from the school’s Sports Technician, Mr. Gavin Musgrave, the students researched, organized, and offered classes to teach other interested students about acting. The workshops often focus on famous scenes from modern media to better engage their peers. They provide this service to any student interested. They also organize and perform plays. The students overall goal is to improve their acting skills, have a place to exhibit their talents, and gain confidence working in a group and presenting in front of others.
“THE STRUGGLE FOR BLACK EQUALITY” by the students at James Lyng High School in St. Henri deserves special mention as they were both was the Local Winner at the Secondary Cycle 2 level and the Regional Winner of the “Coup de Cœur” prize.
In December James Lyng High School unveiled its own art gallery, “The Up Next Gallery.” The gallery opened with support from McGill University’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education as part of the school’s transformation into an, “Urban Arts High School.” Students from Mr. Nathan Gage’s 15 plus class felt a need to foster and promote the emerging artistic life within their school. They also decided there was a need to celebrate Black History Month at the school. With help from Mr. Gage, an art show focusing on this theme was developed for the gallery. The students researched important people in the struggle for black equality. The students also reached out to other schools, community organizations, artists, and musicians in their community. They created and distributed flyers, contacted media, and put together a successful vernissage. The event was well attended by students, artists, media, and the general public. It was even covered by two local news agencies (CTV and Global).
“CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR ALS” by the students at LINKS High School was one of the three Local Winners in the Secondary Special Education category.
When a teacher’s husband was diagnosed with ALS the school participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to show support to her family. Afterwards, the students asked Ms. Anna Condo if they could continue contributing to help the ALS Association. Ms. Condo spoke to the local ALS coordinator and brought ideas back to her students. The students decided they would like to make bilingual Christmas cards and donate them to the ALS Association. The cards would be used to thank the association’s volunteers. The cards the students made had great impact. On one visit to the hospital, Ms. Condo asked an ALS volunteer about the cards. The volunteer exclaimed, "Your students made those cards? They were beautiful!" Ms. Condo shared that with her students the next day and they were overjoyed. The students continue to be involved with the ALS Association making their holiday and thank you cards.
“CULTURAL MOSAIC THROUGH THE STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVE” by the students at LINKS High School was one of the three Local Winners in the Secondary Special Education category.
Originally the students had completed a project about Thanksgiving. They had made posters exploring the practice and presented these posters to their peers. Afterwards many of the students approached their teacher, Mr. Nikolaos Vlahopoulos, and asked if they could create posters about holidays from their own cultures. Mr. Vlahopoulos thought this was a great idea and the “Cultural Mosaic Through The Students’ Perspective” poster project was created. The intent of the posters became to discover and explore similarities and differences between the various cultures found in the school. The posters were placed throughout the school to help educate others and foster a respectful and a peaceful school environment based on acceptance of others and their diverse cultures.
U HUNGRY? by the students at Perspectives I Alternative High School in St. Michel was one of the three Local Winner in the Secondary Special Education category
With the guidance of their Teacher, Ms. Barbara White and the schools Work Coordinator, Ms. Elisa Ruffini, a series of student run workshops were organized to come up with project ideas for the provincial contest. The most popular idea sprung from the observation that teenagers often lack healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It was concluded that the main reason for this is they do not have solid cooking skills and incomes yet. This reflection brought the student group to the idea of creating a cookbook. It would be written by teenagers for teenagers and feature recipes voted by the group to be healthy, easy to make, and delicious. The book entitled, “U Hungry?” was the final product and caters to teenagers who are interested in enjoying simple, tasty, and healthy meals.