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11 Teams from 8 St. Clair Catholic Schools Participate in First Lego League Robotics Competition 

St. Clair Catholic students took home honours in several categories at the First Lego League Robotics Competition in Sarnia earlier this month.  As part of the competition, students program, design and make robots, which are required to complete a series of challenges.

Students also present their innovative solutions in a research project.  They are also given a core values challenge, in which they demonstrate the skills they have developed, both individually and as a team throughout the year.

“The First Lego League Program is designed to encourage young people to pursue careers in the sciences – computer, mechanical, physical and engineering,” says Cortnee Goure, one of the team leaders. “The Lego League competitions are also important as they help students build knowledge and innovative and interpersonal skills, which are important in both academic and social settings.  It’s all about team work!”   

First Lego League challenges are held in more than 80 countries around the world.

Several St. Clair Catholic teams received awards of merit.  The Our Lady of Fatima team was named Ontario West Championship Qualifiers; Aaron VandenEnden, an Ursuline College student, who was mentoring the St. Ursula team, was named Outstanding Youth Mentor; the Gadget Girls Team from Holy Family was Rookie of the Year; and the girls’ team from St. Joseph in Chatham received the Ontario Innovation Celebration Nomination.

The Our Lady of Fatima team now advances to the next competition in Waterloo in January.

In the photo above, the Holy Family Gadget Girls team, which was named Rookie of the Year, poses with staff leaders Cortnee Goure (left) and Janice Prangley (far right).

Dec 23, 2016

UCC Students Helping to Provide Solutions for Community Issues Through Inquiry-Based Learning 

Through inquiry-based learning, students in Steve Churchill's Grade 11 English class are helping to provide solutions to real issues confronting the community.

"This semester, we invited some local agencies into our classroom to talk to us about some 'real world' problems which face our community," says Mr. Churchill.  "The students have followed their passion and their interest and are helping to provide solutions."

Some of the groups invited to speak to students were Pet and Animal Wildlife Rescue, Learning Disabilities Association, Chatham-Kent Outreach for Hunger and the Ursuline Sisters.

"The local Pet and Wildlife Rescue Centre had a recent break-in and was in need of emergency funding," says student Erykah Bugros.  "We decided to design bracelets and sell them, hoping to raise $400.  We've already hit $300 and we're sure we will make our target!"

Another group of students was concerned about young people who cannot afford to play organized sports.  They partnered with SportChek and Canadian Tire to promote the JumpStart Program, which helps give kids from families in financial need the same opportunities to participate in sports as their neighbours, classmates and friends.  They also partnered with students in Grades 1 to 8 at St. Michael Catholic School in Ridgetown to produce dozens of posters, to help promote JumpStart.

"The students all designed their own projects to work out solutions to the problems they were passionate about.  I'm so proud of all of them and the work they're doing in our communities," says Mr. Churchill.  "What I like best about these projects is that they tie so directly to the mission of Catholic education.  These kids aren't only talking about their faith, they're living it!"

The students will discuss their projects in a Ted Talks-style presentation to the community agencies and invited guests on January 18 in the UCC Theatre.

In the photos (above left) students show off the bracelets they designed for the Chatham-Kent Pet and Wildlife Rescue fundraiser; and (above right) some of the posters designed to help promote the JumpStart Program.


Dec 22, 2016

St. Anne Catholic School Bell Choir Performs Christmas Concert at Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia 

Students in the St. Anne Catholic School Sarnia bell choir recently performed for an enthusiastic group of residents at the Marshall Gowland Manor home for the aged.  The choir is directed by retired St. Clair Catholic principal Anne Lobsinger.

"The students were outstanding in their performance," says Mrs. Lobsinger. "At the conclusion of the concert, I heard a number of the residents shouting 'encore!'"

The students, from Grades 5 and 6, performed a number of holiday classics and many of the residents joined in and sang along.

After the presentation, the students mingled and spoke with the residents and enjoyed hot chocolate and treats.

"It was a fun day for all of us," says Mrs. Lobsinger.  "The students always enjoy an opportunity to share their music with others.  I think the day was as meaningful for the choir as it was for the residents!"

In the photos (above) Mrs. Lobsinger poses with two members of the bell choir and resident June Lasenby, who thanked the students at the conclusion of the concert; and (below) the bell choir performs a song at Marshall Gowland Manor home for the aged in Sarnia.

Dec 09, 2016
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