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excellence in education

Biology with a twist

fall 2018

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Mental health services at a tap

Inclusive teaching

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photo: dan toulgoet

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also available online at issuu.com/glacierspecialtypublishing

Think Tank Training Centre in North Vancouver has re-defined Computer Animation training. For 12 years, Think Tank has trained artists for top Film, TV and Video Game titles. Graduates of the program have moved on to projects such as the Avengers films for Marvel, Star Wars, Jurassic World and countless others. The Hollywood Reporter recently named the school one of the top 10 visual effects schools in the world and last year Think Tank won several Rookies — including

top school in Canada for Visual Effects, Animation and Next-Gen Gaming. As well as second out of 147 schools worldwide for Visual Effects, third out of 176 schools worldwide for Feature Animation

“In 2017 The Rookies ranked Think Tank second in the world overall for Visual Effects.”

and sixth out of 166 schools worldwide for Next-Gen Gaming. So how does a small school in North Vancouver become one of the best animation schools in the world? For starters, you get two talented industry pros and let them design a school they would love to attend. Then you leverage the fact that Vancouver is one of the largest Visual Effects and Animation hubs

in the world filled with amazingly talented artists working on the top projects worldwide. By hiring the best artists in the world as instructors and Mentors, Think Tank has changed the game. Bringing in artists working in the industry, students are learning the latest studio techniques and workflow. Combined with a custom curriculum and the latest software packages,

students have every advantage possible to take the next step and make the jump to that first killer job.

“Think Tank has become our number one source for production ready, capable CG artists and technicians.� Carl WhiTeside Waterproof StudioS executive producer

Think Tank offers courses on campus at the centrally-located North Vancouver building and online, giving students the chance to learn whenever and wherever is most convenient for them. as well as, the school now offers scholarships of up to $3,100 for the online program at the end of the second semester.


excellence in education

from the editor fall 2018

The evolution of learning



Magazines are a bit like children. You start out thinking you can influence them only to realize that they will assert a personality all their own.


Michelle Bhatti editor

Martha Perkins creative director

Marina Rockey

Thank goodness.

We hope that our profile of the remarkable Carin Bondar convinces you that YouTube and Facebook don’t have to be the evil nemesis of serious learning. Sure, they can be a distraction but some of the rabbit holes they lead us down are actually pretty fascinating. Just because we have fun learning about the birds and the bees doesn’t mean the science is not as valid. Evolution is a work in progress. We still are faced with the constant need to adapt, perhaps not physiologically but certainly when it comes to surviving in the rapidly changing world we live in. It can be scary but don’t worry — there will soon be an app for that. martha perkins 4

fall 2018

contributing writers

Jeff Bell Lise Boullard Chris Campbell John Kurucz Lauren McIvor Melissa Shaw Diane Strandberg Sandra Thomas

photo: dan toulgoet

For instance, it was not the intention to share so many stories involving technology. But who among us hasn’t been affected by the growing digital influence in our lives? It’s little wonder that the theme keeps coming up again and again.

5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

$1,200 grant helps with education costs chris campbell

For advertising inquiries, contact Michelle Bhatti at mbhatti@vancourier.com

Outrageous acts of teaching martha perkins

Mental health support at a tap melissa shaw

Langara College celebrates 49 years sandra thomas

Special teachers for special needs kids diane strandberg

Cap U forges Aboriginal partnerships lise boullard

Digital literacy for artists lauren mcivor

Protecting privacy jeff bell

Teen driving Odd jobs john kurucz

volume 2 number 2 fall 2018 Published by glacier media. Copyright ©2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles permitted with credit. Advertisements in this magazine are coordinated by Glacier Media. Glacier Media does not endorse products or services. Any errors, omissions or opinions found in this magazine should not be attributed to the publisher. The authors, the publisher and the collaborating organizations will not assume any responsibility for commercial loss due to business decisions made based on the information contained in this magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without crediting Glacier Media. Printed in Canada. Please recycle.

$1,200 grant helps with education costs Chris Campbell

Parents and guardians — do you know your child might be eligible a $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant? Almost 80 per cent of job openings in B.C. over the next decade will require some form of post-secondary education. The grant may be used toward full-time and part-time studies in a wide range of programs, including vocational schools, apprenticeships, trades training, college or university. The grant can also be used to help ease the transition from high school. There are no additional fees or financial contributions needed to receive the $1,200 grant, so parents and families who cannot afford to put aside savings at this time can still start a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Even the smallest investment can grow over time, making it easier to pursue a post-secondary education. Signing up is as easy as stopping in at a local bank or financial institution to complete a simple application for an RESP. If approved, the $1,200 grant will be deposited directly into the RESP. Once deposited, the investment grows tax free. More than 280,000 B.C. children are eligible to receive the grant. To date, about 40 per cent of eligible parents have signed up for the BCTESG. For further information about the BCTESG, visit www2.gov.bc.ca/BCTESG


In our growingInschool our growing district, In our Inschool our growing yougrowing will district, find: school school you district, will district, find: youyou willwill find:find: In our growing school district, you will fi nd: • intentional support for • intentional a growth support • intentional for• aintentional growth support support for a growth for a growth

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TEACHERS TEACHERS TEACHERS TEACHERS TEACHERS & TEACHERS TEACHING CALL & TEACHERS-TEACHING-ON-CALL & TEACHERS-TEACHING-ON-CALL & TEACHERS-TEACHING-ON-CALL &ON TEACHERS-TEACHING-ON-CALL The Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows School District (DS42) is accepting applications for all District The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows The MapleSchool Ridge –teaching The Pitt Maple Meadows (SD42) The Maple Ridge isSchool accepting –Ridge PittDistrict Meadows – applications Pitt Meadows (SD42) School is accepting School DistrictDistrict (SD42) applications (SD42) is accepting is accepting applications applications areas and levels. Join our district and become part for all teaching areas and for levels. all teaching Join our areas district for and all teaching for and levels. all become teaching Join areas our part and areas district of levels. a and talented and levels. Join become our Join district part our district of and a talented become and become part of part a talented of a talented of a talented community of educators dedicated to community of educators community dedicated of to educators enriching community the community dedicated lives of educators of to all of enriching learners. educators dedicated the dedicated lives to enriching of all to learners. enriching the lives the of lives all learners. of all learners. enriching the lives of all learners.

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Outrageous acts With millions of online and TV viewers, Carin Bondar creatively captures her audience’s attention

martha perkins

It’s not hard for Carin Bondar to turn anything into a science lesson. And it’s not hard to learn about science when she’s the one doing the teaching. It’s not just because she often explores the biology of sex — the why and, sometimes more intriguingly, how animals do what they do to procreate. Bondar has an almost instinctive awareness that if you want to attract an audience in the hopes of passing on your knowledge, you’ve got to put on a bit of a show.

She was in the midst of her PhD program at UBC when her father suddenly died. Her brother was dying from AIDS, and her family needed her help. She dropped out of university — or, as she puts it, “I was yanked out of my academic happy place” — and returned home to Chilliwack to run the family’s four independent movie theatres. It was a job she didn’t want or like, but she found ways to inject a little science into her day by showing short science films before the main feature. (She’s not impressed, by the way, with how science is portrayed in movies. “As a scientist, it made me more aware of how much of a struggle it is to squoosh science into our greater awareness.”)

She also fell in love, married and started having children. But no matter how busy she was, she I take it very Her Wild Sex YouTube videos have been viewed seriously to always felt the tug back to her studies. Thanks to more than 60 million times. Millions more make science this newfound thing called the internet, she found viewers watch her on Discovery Channel’s fun and a way to juggle it all. Her oldest son was two and Outrageous Acts of Science. (She’s on her 100th interesting. she was eight and a half months pregnant when episode.) Her Seeker Wild Facebook videos get carin bondar she defended her PhD dissertation. hundreds of thousands of views each, and when it comes to showing how giraffes do it, more than Her PhD supervisor was a bit disappointed with her graduation two million people have been transfixed by her explanation of plans: writing a science blog. But, for her, it was a way she could the mechanics of it all. (It involves drinking pee and the female’s fulfill family and business responsibilities while carving out a very strong legs.) career in relatively unexplored territory. There’s also her hosting gig on The World’s Oddest Animal Slowly but surely, her posts drew attention; one of the first fans Couples, which is on Netflix. of her work was Scientific American, which sparked the interest of others. If she was invited to speak somewhere, be part of TEDGlobal was so intrigued, it asked her to share a few something scientific, she’d do it. “I was so thrilled I’d find the insights from her book Wild Sex. time to make it happen. Even though the money isn’t huge, I She even managed to turn our interview and photo shoot at insisted that I had the time to do it.” Kits beach into an impromptu science lesson. And just as all Her big break came in 2012, a year after she sold the movie the bivalves and aquatic plants have found a way to cope with theatres, when Earth Touch flew her to South Africa to write the changing tides, Bondar has also learned how to adapt to and narrate Wild Sex, a show about the evolutionary biology of the forces in life that sometimes push us in directions we aren’t sex. They shot 20 episodes in nine days. prepared for.


fall 2018

of teaching Granted she found a subject that profoundly interests people, but her main goal is to educate. “I take it very seriously to make science fun and interesting,” she says. Just as she groans at the way science is depicted in all those movies she watched when she was a theatre owner, she is fighting against a culture that is losing its ability to think critically. “Think. Think. That’s what our phones have allowed us not to do,” she says. And thinking is what her videos make you do with all of their illustrative ah-ha (and he-he) moments. No matter how entertaining her methods, she really is getting your brain to move past its preprogrammed responses to all the things that make, in the immortal words of Cole Porter, even educated fleas do it. More recently, her energy has moved on to what happens when those evolutionary impetuses achieve their goal: motherhood. It’s a subject in which she’s well versed. Her children are now 13, 11, eight and “almost seven.” The first three were planned, but the youngest was a bit of a surprise, the expert on how sex works sheepishly admits.

photo dan toulgoet

“I think ultimately what motherhood is is a total expansion of our repertoire. We become multi-taskers to a degree that’s unprecedented elsewhere,” says the author of Wild Moms. “I love to embrace the superpowers that come with it.”

Carin Bondar

fall 2018


Mental health support at a tap Melissa Shaw

Simon Fraser University and Simon Fraser Student Society have launched a new 24/7 free mental health app for students called My Student Support Program (My SSP). The two-year pilot project provides students with confidential 24 hour access to counsellors through the mobile app. Students can instant message counsellors for help with emotional issues such as managing relationships, adjusting to living away from home and to receive crisis support. SFU students can book an appointment with a counsellor through the app requesting one who speaks a specific language, for example, or identifies as a specific gender, religion or as Indigenous. The app connects students with resources including videos and articles that support positive well-being including achieving a healthy life balance, better sleep and how to practise mindfulness.

A new app gives SFU students easy access to support programs. photo: iStock

“My SPP will be situated amidst a strategy that addresses timely, accessible, supports for those in need; settings that promote well-being and a caring community; and health education as well as addressing mental health stigma,” says Martin Mroz, SFU’s health and counselling director. Canadian post-secondary institutions have seen a spike in demand for mental health support services on campus, according to the Education Advisory Board.

The 13 Canadian post-secondary institutions surveyed saw an average 35 per cent increase in the number of counselling appointments on campus. My SSP is funded by SFU’s University’s Student Experience Initiative in partnership with student insurance provider guard.me and human resources technology firm Morneau Shepell.

Take Vancouver School Board classes online. We offer 90+ courses through a flexible and engaging program that allows you to learn at your own pace from wherever you are. Available to BC students, all courses are approved by the BC Ministry of Education and taught by VSB teachers. Tuition is free for school-aged BC residents. For more information, a list of courses, or to sign up, just visit vlns.ca.

Langara College celebrates 49 years Special events kick off with a walk Oct. 10

Sandra Thomas

It was Oct. 13, 1970 when approximately 3,000 students, teachers and staff members walked or drove from the former King Edward continuing education centre off West 12th Avenue at Oak Street to the site of the new Vancouver City College Langara campus on West 49th Avenue, a journey that eventually became known as “The Great Trek.”

Langara, said the anniversary has been dubbed the “49th on 49.”

That trek will be recreated in part Oct. 10, when former and current faculty, students and staff will walk from West 41st Avenue to Langara College. The march will kick off a year of special events and celebrations leading up to Langara’s 49th anniversary.

For anyone confused by the fact certain departments, such as the journalism program and the popular Studio 58 theatre school, were established more than 50 years ago rather than 49, Dawson explains they initially weren’t part of Vancouver Community College.

Dawson didn’t want to give away too much information about upcoming events, but did divulge Langara will be hosting the annual national men’s basketball championship, a special convocation ceremony for graduates of 2019, and numerous fundraisers to support student initiatives.

Dawson notes it was in 1974 when Vancouver City College changed its name to Vancouver Community College and broke

“There are going to be a lot of extra special events going on,” says Dawson, who adds events will be announced as they’re finalized.

“It will be a year-long celebration organized to connect ‘Langarans,’” says Dawson, a group that besides full-time students and faculty, includes continuing studies and transfer students. “Basically, if you’ve taken a class here, you’re a Langaran.”

Mark Dawson, manager of communications and marketing for

away from the Vancouver School Board and it was in 1990 when Langara College becomes an independent public college, separated from VCC.


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special teachers for

special needs kids Diane Strandberg

Kyme Wegrich says there is nothing special about her teaching method. But parents of special needs children know differently.

The Grade 3/4 teacher was one of six B.C. recipients of a 2018 National Inclusive Education award for her ability to provide inclusive learning opportunities for students with special needs. “I think it’s something I’ve always done. I don’t see as being out of the ordinary; that’s why I was so shocked,” Wegrich said this spring when she learned she was receiving the award. A teacher for 25 years, she prefers to teach to all levels and abilities, rather than just the “middle.” “I try to meet the child where they are,” said Wegrich. In her class, for example, soft lighting has been hung to create a calming environment and students can choose from a variety of seating options including standing tables, seats that rock back and forth and exercise balls to accommodate some children’s need to move. Instead of teaching a single lesson, Wegrich arranges the students into groups, depending on their level of understanding of a particular unit or subject, and rotates them through the lesson. When they aren’t working with her at the smart board, the group will do their work or play a game that helps reinforce the lesson. 10

fall 2018

Kyme Wegrich, with Aya, has been teaching in an inclusive way, using various teaching styles to ensure that all her Grade 3 and 4 students get their learning needs met. The Walton elementary school teacher has been honoured with a 2018 National Inclusive Education Award. photo: Diane Strandberg

With the support of an education  SD63 Team, Saanichton School District, assistant and a resource teacher, Kyme Saanich ensures that her class meets the needs of all students, including a girl with autism,  Westcot Team, Westcot Elementary School, West Vancouver. who is popular, as evidenced at how happy her peers are to play games with her. In one game called Garbage, the students changed the format so their friend could easily join in. Wegrich said children don’t see see a problem with people who are different and she hopes they grow up to be more empathetic and compassionate adults. The other B.C. award recipients were:  Angela Pardek, supervisor at Hastings Community Preschool, Vancouver  Sally Marr, learning services teacher at Charles Hays Secondary School, Prince Rupert  Twila Konynenbelt, teacher at Brechin Elementary School, Nanaimo

What is inclusive education?

According to Inclusion BC, inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighbourhood schools in age appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. They may work on individual goals with other students their own age while developing their own strengths and gifts in a school culture that provides opportunities to learn about and accept individual differences, lessening the impact of harassment and bullying.

Cap U forges Aboriginal partnerships Lise Boullard

Since receiving its university designation in 2008, Capilano University has added an array of cutting-edge programs to its roster, and there are more to come.

Assistant Program. “We will be delivering our provincial curriculum but will be doing so with an Indigenous focus that will include cultural activities.”

One new addition is the result of a partnership between the Health Care Assistant Program at Capilano University and Squamish Nation’s Eslha7an Learning Centre. An eight-month certificate program prepares Aboriginal students to provide personal care to patients and residents in the community, including those in complex care, in specialized dementia care and in acute care settings.

The majority of classroom courses are at the Squamish Nation’s Eslha7an Learning Centre which offers courses, programs and workshops to members of the Squamish

Nation as well as all Aboriginal Peoples living in North and West Vancouver. “This is intended not only to remove some of the barriers that may make attending classes on campus challenging for Aboriginal students, but also to provide easy access to programs, support, and guidance from the students’ community,” says Neubauer. Capilano University is also offering is a one-year preparatory program for Aboriginal students planning to enrol in post-secondary education. It helps students develop core academic skills while supporting knowledge of Aboriginal culture.

“Aboriginal professionals are sorely underrepresented in health care,” says Nadja Neubauer, co-ordinator of the Health Care

Health Care Assistant Program students practise their skills in the lab at Capilano University. photo: Capilano University



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Digital literacy for artists Lauren McIvor

The Canada Council for the Arts has granted $38,000 to the Squamish Arts Council toward the development of a digital literacy project for the community’s arts sector.

The digital literacy project provides an opportunity to highlight the arts and culture sector within the corridor, and will help it evolve to the next step and prepare itself for the digital era, Lyons explained.

The project aims to provide opportunities for local arts and culture by utilizing and leveraging either new or existing technology, said Cydney Lyons of the Squamish Arts Council (SAC).

She describes the current digital era as an innovation race, with all other industries innovating at exponentially quick speeds. The digital strategy fund is trying to move arts and culture into the digital era so that the local arts and culture isn’t left behind.

Digital literacy is described as technology that artists use to either produce or to distribute their art, said project manager Alexander Moir of Sky to Soul Services.

The council will also be working with KPMG, one of the largest management consultants in the world, to provide insight into what other organizations or communities are doing.

Moir said that the grant came after the Canada Council for the Arts identified a gap in the education and the literacy of artists and art groups in modern technology.

As the project’s digital partner, KPMG will help to identify an effective means of increasing technological literacy.

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Students need to know that once they’ve shared personal information online, it’s hard to get it back. photo: iStock

Protecting privacy New online course teaches students how to stay safe in a digital world

Jeff Bell

Maintaining privacy while using the myriad electronic devices at their disposal is at the core of a new commonsense curriculum being offered to B.C. students this fall. B.C. information and privacy commissioner Michael McEvoy said his office has joined with other privacy offices across the country to create four online lesson plans — three for Grades 6 to 9 and one for Grades 9 to 12 — to look at the need for students to control personal information on their devices. “Any parent will know that students today rely on and use smartphones, iPads, laptops, just about every type of technology,” said McEvoy, a former chairman of the Greater Victoria school board and president of the Canadian School Boards’ Association. “It’s pretty clear to us that digital education is absolutely critical in today’s schools for today’s kids.” One aspect of maintaining privacy is simply taking care by thinking critically

about what information you give online, McEvoy said. That issue is presented through animation in one of the lesson plans. “The analogy is toothpaste out of a toothpaste container,” McEvoy said. “Once it’s squeezed, it’s almost impossible to get it back.” Valuable online education is already taking place, McEvoy said. “I think we’ve been pretty good at teaching kids about safety issues online,” he said. “I think we’ve also been very good at teaching kids about using technology so that they are able to use those skills in the labour force.” But privacy matters should have more attention, he said, noting that that they come up often on social-media sites or in applications. He said students can be skilful at using their devices but might not understand the “behind-the-scene” activities online, such as the way apps or sites can collect information.

In many cases, he said advertisers pull personal information from people using an app or a site. Along with that, McEvoy said apps might be free but they can also be used to gather information to sell to advertisers. Users can prevent that by using a different app with a better privacy policy, he said. Locator mechanisms online also affect your privacy, McEvoy said. “There are simple ways to turn it off if you’re aware of the privacy settings.” Considering privacy issues when sharing someone else’s information is also important, he said. McEvoy said a recent survey by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation indicated that more than 90 per cent of teachers support the need for more online education, while over 75 per cent feel confident in their ability to teach it. The lesson plans are at oipc.bc.ca/resources/ lesson-plans. fall 2018


Learning to drive and receiving a driver’s licence makes for some exciting times for young drivers. Those first moments of freedom on the road open up many new possibilities for teenagers accustomed to relying on their parents to get them around town. Although being a new driver is exciting, it also carries with it very real risk. The prefrontal cortex, which contains the neural mechanisms of self-control, is one of the last parts of the brain to mature. As a result, teenagers are prone to taking risks, behaving impulsively and seeking sensation. These traits can be dangerous behind the wheel of a car.

speed, even if that means driving below the speed limit.

Preventing teenage driving accidents requires some measure of dedication, awareness and education.  I mprove driving skills: A driver’s licence does not mean drivers have learned all there is to know about driving. In fact, newly licensed drivers still have a lot to learn. Experience only comes with time and practice, and every day presents teen drivers with a new opportunity to expand their skills.

 Reduce distractions: When driving, reduce distractions inside of the car. Distractions include eating or talking on the phone while driving. It also means fiddling with the radio or checking social media. Texting is prohibited. Texting while driving creates conditions similar to drinking or using drugs while behind the wheel.

 Watch the speed limit: Speeding makes it more difficult to control a vehicle. Obey the speed limit and recognize speed limits are suggestions during ideal driving conditions. When driving in inclement weather, reduce

 Stick to daytime driving: Driving at night can make it much more difficult for drivers to see their surroundings and recognize potential hazards. Within the first few months of earning their licences, teenagers should drive only during the daytime.

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Brock Boeser

odd jobs John Kurucz

Travel across North America in high style, live life under the bright lights and give nicely chiselled men massages. All this and more could be yours, as the Vancouver Canucks are on the hunt for a registered massage therapist. Reporting to the club’s head athletic therapist, the lucky candidate will be responsible for the assessment, treatment and progress of player care. The educational requirements include a four-year degree from an accredited college or university in massage therapy, as well as healthcare level CPR and a Sport First Responder certification, among other things. But enough with the details. The real perk here is getting to bask in the

magnificence that is Brock Boeser’s hair on a daily basis.

takers, goal setters, creative, curious and sweaty. Really, really sweaty.”


Apply online at info.lululemon.com/careers.

Details are online at jobs.canucks.com.

It’s indeed a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

There may be no job that screams “Peak Vancouver” than the listing offered by Chip Wilson’s former crew. Lululemon is looking for an art director with at least seven years’ experience at a design agency, along with the requisite knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. It goes without saying that you’ll need a refined sense of aesthetic as well. In case you’re unfamiliar with Lululemon, allow this info extracted from the job listing to jog your memory: “We’re bonfire starters, daredevils, entrepreneurs, community builders, risk

The Greater Vancouver Lice Clinic is on the lookout for a head lice technician to work out of the company’s Maple Ridge practice. Prospective candidates will be tasked with screening for head lice, manually removing the little buggers and providing reassurance and education to anxious families. Part-time, weekend and evening coverage is required and the necessary attributes include excellent verbal and written communication skills, a compassionate personality and attention to detail. For info, see greatervancouverliceclinic.ca. fall 2018



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