The Grade 7 students showed off their media literacy, coding, and VR skills during their presentations to judges in the brand new Makerspace. They were tasked with researching a chosen ecosystem to find out what biotic and abiotic elements exist in the ecosystem and demonstrate the interactions between them. They had to further designate those elements into their roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers and then describe the transfer of energy in a food web showing how matter is cycled within the environment to promote sustainability.
The catch… they had to build, design, and create all of this inside a virtual reality program called CoSpaces, using a visual block-based programming language called CoBlocks to tell the story of their ecosystem digitally. The videos below of the ecosystems themselves, and judges being guided through the experience illustrate the effort, willingness to try something new and risk taking our students are acquiring.
Former OJCS student and entrepreneur Pablo Srugo was kind enough to share his story with the grade 8 class.
Mr. Srugo wanted to be a lawyer as a student but after realizing it wasn’t for him he and his business partner Lee Silverstone (another OJCS alumni!) decided they wanted to start a company of their own.
The creativity, working for themselves, and following their passions were reasons why entrepreneurship appealed to them. His first company was a tutoring company called MyTutor. His next venture, Gymtrack, raised over 5 million dollars, had 35 employees working for them and was featured in the Ottawa Citizen as a local startup company that focused on tracking activity at the gym to family the experience and make it more fun for participants. He now
Students learned about the process of starting a company from scratch, how one idea can change the world, the importance of timing, and how your preconceptions of a job may change once you actually start in the job field.
“You have to be creative.” Srugo repeated. The idea that jobs are changing, jobs are being replaced or automated are forcing students to keep doors open, and to explore your interests.