2018 BEST Conference

Science, Technology, Engineering, and the Environment and Mathematics all come together in the BEST Conference! The Edmonton Catholic School District’s (ECSD) annual STEM Conference on The Best Exploration of Science and Technology (BEST) with Engineering, Environment and Mathematics was held at St. Brendan Elementary & Jr. High School. This is our third invitation to the annual conference, and we were excited to build on this year’s theme: The Greatest Show…the Earth! Stories of the land, sky and water!

Students learned to appreciate, protect and nurture this wonderful planet we call home…and because it is the greatest “show”, we celebrated the Earth under a circus BIG TOP! The 3-Ring presenters Dr.Lucio Gelmini (Grant MacEwan University), Michael Ng (Mad Scientist on Global News), and Dr. Roy Jensen (Grant MacEwan University) wowed the crowd with explosive, loud and theatrical science. Students then attended workshops about creepy crawlies, bees, dinosaurs, paleontology, virtual reality, science of circus food, dark science glow magic, life underground water, exploring sky and stars in the TELUS Dome and, of course, circus coding with Discover Coding!  It was a blast working with fellow passionate educators in their specialty. It was a day of STEM fun!

We guided students to create “Juggle CodyOdy” game with Scratch programming language. Students programed a circus clown who must juggle balls in the air and avoid falling bowls of Cheesy-Puffs (or whatever silly kids could think of).

Kids applied their knowledge of Cartesian coordinates (Math connections!!) to transpose and move their clowns, juggling balls and cheesy-puffs in the game. Then at the end, kids had a chance to remix their game and add their own creativity to the game. One kid made his into a 2-player game. Other kids added sound effects and falling crabs, planes and other silly items.

We also had a hardware station where students could explore computer hardware. The kids were so engaged in coding, this station was untouched!!!

The day was huge hit!

Special thanks to the BEST Conference Committee for bringing such an invaluable event to get kids excited about STEM and for inviting Discover Coding.

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