Dr. Woodie Flowers Explains Creativity, Engineering and FirstRobotics

Dr Woodie Flowers is a long-time champion of FirstRobotics and gracious professionalism. Here he provides an interesting and succinct summary of what FirstRobotics is all about — essentially building character, leadership, communication skills and STEAM competencies in all participants, whether youth team member, adult mentor or volunteer. So, why not...Read more

21st Century Skills

I include the following sentence in my personal statement on Instructional Leadership: Acknowledging that today’s learners are different from previous cohorts, I accept the challenge to collaboratively prepare them for a future that, today, we cannot clearly describe. Many of the jobs that current high school students will have in...Read more

The Power of Yet

The key concept underpinning Growth Mindset are key to learning — but the messaging must be tuned to the audience. For an adult educator audience, Carol Dweck’s Ted Talk may well resonate and encourage teachers to promote a growth mindset. Though the message is important, for skeptical young learner, the...Read more


The following two videos describe what is meant by the term netiquette and what constitutes acceptable online behaviours. Take a few minutes to watch these videos. A good practice is to watch a video once, paying attention to the concepts and principles described, then watch it again with paper and pencil in hand, pausing the video to...Read more

Problem Solving

Fixed mindset and uncertainty avoiding behaviours are both obstacles to problem solving. So, how do we overcome these? By scaffolding their problem solving processes.  I tell my students this as I encourage a disciplined approach to problem solving that is nicely summarized by the mnemonic G*R*A*S*S: What is Given? What information...Read more

Accept challenge! Struggle is good!

The bull’s eye diagram certainly generates discussion: comfort zone: the student can already do the target learning tasks without help; panic zone: the student cannot do the target learning tasks; and learning zone: (aka. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development) the student can do the target learning tasks with help. First,...Read more

Robotics and Best Practices

Today a group from First Robotics Canada, Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board met to move FRC7509’s strategy forward for the 2019-2020 academic year. The meeting was productive and gave me both a lot to reflect on and to do. Chris Mara’s name came up...Read more