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Blog: Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Creating Authentic & Purposeful Connections

I don’t know if I struggled more as a student to see the relevance in what I was learning, or as an educator to connect the learning in the classroom to the real world. As part of Rick Hansen Secondary’s transformation into a project-based learning school, our staff has been striving to ensure the learning environment we create is authentic and purposefully connected to the world at large. We have even gone so far as to embed it in our school plan so that at least one PBL unit a teacher does in the year has to engage the community in a meaningful way. To start the year, we had three of our teachers, Baljeet Gill, Jas Gill and Dilpreet Chahal, partner with the City of Abbotsford as part of their City Studio project. 

The City of Abbotsford describes the City Studio project as an “innovation hub where City staff, University of the Fraser Valley students, and community co-create experimental projects to make Abbotsford more sustainable, livable and joyful”. The City presents a set of challenges that they are experiencing to the students, and the students provide a unique perspective on solving the problem.  For example, our Economics 12 class is working to solve the problem of “How might we Grow Abbotsford’s Innovation Economy to transform Abbotsford into a nationally recognized centre for innovation as the City grows to 200,000 residents”. I am proud that our school is the first secondary school to be a part of this, but I have an even greater sense of pride that the work students are doing in their classroom can have a direct positive contribution to the city they live in.

David de Wit, Principal