Interesting link how studying biological systems can optimize engineering systems. Thanks to K.Davey for sharing it on QuebecSciTech educators Edmodo grouphttp://youtu.be/K1X-wJrF8Jw
RMC and the McGill Student's Astronomy Club do Earth Hour!:It was a beautiful educative talk followed by a great walk up the hill ! This kind of event goes a long way in promoting awareness about energy consumption and human ecological footprint. It was a laudable sustainability education initiative !
RMC and the McGill Student's Astronomy Club do Earth Hour!:On Saturday night, we had 66 visitors attend the lecture at the Museum and walk with us up Mt. Royal to see the skyline get a little darker for Earth Hour. Ingrid Birker, our presenter at the museum, gave a wonderful talk on geology which we got to observe while we ascended the mountain. While it was quite chilly with the wind blowing, we had some delicious hot chocolate to keep us warm, and towards the end, some other Earth Hour appreciators even played some music! For the most part, it was the large corporate buildings that turned all their lights off, and “Ohs!” and “Ahs!” could be heard all across the Belvedere when one ‘went out’. Although it was a bit too cloudy in the cosmos for our planned star-gazing, we had a great time looking over the beautiful city and admiring the peace and quiet one finds at the summit.Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers and helpers that made this night go off without a hitch! We had a great time, and hope you did too!
Including ecologically sustainable materials in students' projects:Who could have thought that sustainability concepts could be relevant to students' school Robotics projects? Friday the 21st February 2014 was one of the busiest Fridays for me, personally, in terms of Science Education commitments. After supervising a high school Grade 7 Mathematics exams at CPI yesterday, I had to rush to Rosemount High School Science fair where I was invited by the head of Science dept, Mr Patrick Mayard to assist in the judging of two students' Robotics team projects.Immediately afterwards, in the same afternoon, I tried my best to be present for at least part of an interesting online guest presentation by Andy Ross (Learnquebec) along with the students in Professor Anila Asghar's (Teaching methods- I) class at McGill, before ultimately heading to Vanier College to act as one of the several judges at the Montreal School Robotics competition in response to a kind invitation from the organisers. At the Rosemount High School Science & Robotics fair, both the students' teams I judged, demonstrated their robots, described their merits and explained the challenges of their Robotics projects, how they overcame those challenges and what they learnt from it, just as well as all the other enthusiastic student (whomsoever I had the pleasure of actively listening to, later on that day) participants did in the Montreal School Robotics competition held at Vanier College. What impressed me the most that day from a "Sustainability in Education" perspective is described as follows:While demonstrating his team’s robot in action, Daniel (one of the student Robotics team project leaders at Rosemount High School), took great pride in explaining that his team consciously chose to include some ecologically sustainable materials (instead of plastic) in its construction, not only because they were “better for the environment” but also because it seemed to enhance their robot's technical performance! It's very encouraging to observe young students appreciate and successfully integrate sustainability concepts in project based learning.
Sharing A TED Talk-A Sustainable Fish Farm:TED Talk: Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fishhttp://www.ted.com/talks/dan_barber_how_i_fell_in_love_with_a_fish.htmlChef Dan Barber presented his two love stories with fishes at the TED talk in 2010. The first story is about how he found out what exactly is “sustainable protein”, which is used to feed the tuna we ate. In the second story, Dan introduced a fish farm in the Southern Spain. He was surprised to learn that the fish farm doesn’t need to feed its fish, measures success by the health of its predators, and doesn’t use any impurities. With Dan’s humor, he stimulated my thinking about our current agri-business model. How could we create a ecological model that enable every community to have sustainable and, most importantly, delicious food?
Hi Elaine,That was a really interesting TED Talk! What's also great is that he is a chef that is interested in the sustainability of the food that he uses. I traveled to a number of fish farms in East Africa - the amount of land that needs to be cleared in order to produce mass amounts of fish is A LOT. The fish farm that Dan describes in this video sounds like a beautiful place.What I think is interesting is - how can we find these best case practices and link spread their knowledge so that it reaches a larger sphere? Now - do you think this video could be useful for teachers? What aspect, maybe, of curriculum could it be added into? What sections of the video are highly informative and pertinent in classrooms? Would love to hear your thoughts.Sheena
Integrating 'Sustainability' concepts in school education @ Montreal:Even though what I am teaching the grade 10 students is just the Science & Technology (ST) program in contrast with the Environmental Science & Technology (EST) curriculum, I feel it is important to develop in students, a genuine attitude of 'care and concern for the environment'.It is pleasing when I see a growing number of students respond positively to supplementary questions at the end of their quiz addressing 'the impact of human activity on the environment and about steps they could take at their level to promote environmental/ecological/economical sustainability.'There are some changes happening at school too, for instance, students are discussing alternatives to plastic and styrofoam: about using non-disposable (environmentally friendlier) cutlery and plates, which has less impact on the environment, in the school canteen.As a teacher, I try to use as little paper as possible. For hand-outs, I provide students with electronic copies of notes and other learning resources which I upload on Edmodo, a helpful web tool for organizing the delivery of somewhat 'paper-less' lessons. In the lessons, within the limits of the Quebec Education Program (QEP) curriculum, I often discuss certain environmental impacts of Science and Technology used in society, such as the economical use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, and encourage young minds to explore more eco-sustainable long-term alternatives and principles of sustainable eco-design.The curriculum materials and instructions to teachers and students must, in my view, attempt to accommodate and integrate more of sustainability concepts and principles of ecological design.Educational field trips that give students a first hand experience of learning about their natural environment are absolutely quintessential.On a personal level, I try to be 'an as good and eco-conscious as possible role model' for the students. For example, there is a "FREE OF PLASTIC BOTTLED WATER" sticker (available downtown at Éco-quartier Peter-McGill) on my organic raw Kombucha glass bottle which I use as a recipient for refilling and storing drinking water from the drinking water station at school.
Andy Wang's article in McGill tribune about Dr. Audrey Moore's lecture at Redpath museum auditorium as part of the Mini-Museum series on use of nano-particles for a more Green Chemistry and her pure materials perspective on "What is sustainability?"http://mcgilltribune.com/sci-tech/going-back-to-the-elements-110925/
The McGill Daily editorial board published a commentary on the 30th November titled: "No Sustainability without Equal Water Accessibility." The link is as follows: http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2015/11/no-sustainability-without-equal-water-accessibility/
Sustainability Office of McGill is certainly a good initiative for McGill University to keep pace with latest trends among universities in North Amnerica in terms its missions and operations. However, the MOOS staff definitely need some professional development training for their knowledge, attitude, behavior, and professionalism. The reason I am providing such somewhat negative comments is that I have had a very unpleasant encounter with the SPF Steward and SPF Administrative Officer. They seem to lack some professionalism in terms of their approach, manner, and attitude. My personal experience with them was somewhat condescending and attacking towards me. If McGill wants to retain its world-ranking status, MOOS should hire qualified and knowledgeable professionals or McGill Board of Governance should consider some restructuring to the SPF and MOOS.
Prof. Anthony Ricciardi's team research on pollution in St. Lawrence river reveals microbeads that may originate from cosmetics. The link is as follows: http://www.mcgill.ca/sustainability/channels/news/mcgill-professor-anthony-ricciardi-plastic-microbeads-st-lawrence-river-239251