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10 Years of Odyssey Celebration

On November 7, 2015 – Educators from Odyssey Schools across British Columbia met at Science World to celebrate over 10 years of unique Odyssey Programs, share innovative teaching strategies, and explore new ways to engage students in science, technology and mathematics. Special guests included representatives from BC Hydro, Mitacs and Let’s Talk Science. Ross Mitchell, MOF Founder, provided inspiring opening remarks on his vision for the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation and ongoing work to extend its impact. Louise Turner, President of the BC Premier’s Technology Council (PTC), shared highlights of PTC initiatives to fuel the technology sector, the important role that educators have to expose students to technology innovation and how we can work together to address the skills gap.

The 7th WILD ABOUT SCIENCE Symposium showcased programs from the Odyssey Network of 79 schools across 34 school districts in BC - including Kelly Road Secondary, Carihi Secondary, Lake City Secondary and Abbotsford Secondary. Key themes included: leveraging new technology and equipment with hands-on activities, creating new science courses with inquiry-based learning, connecting students to their environment with research opportunities, and using Gearbots Makerspace to integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) activities to develop 21st century skills.

Odyssey Workshops included hands-on learning with Science World, Genome BC, HR MacMillan Space Centre, Oceans Networks Canada, and UVIC Earth and Ocean Sciences. Odyssey Teachers – from Summerland, Steveston-London and Abbotsford - shared their expertise during collaboration workshops to explore virtual learning resources, engineering innovation, GearBots Makerspace and littleBits prototyping tools that enable student to dream, invent and create. Delegates used Idea X-Change cards to share their ideas and Action Cards to turn Odyssey Ideas into Action back in their classrooms.

Congratulations to Odyssey Impact video winners for their imaginative and engaging videos – with grand prize to Steveston-London, followed closely by NorKam and King George. Several schools were honoured with Odyssey Outstanding Achievement Awards, before closing remarks by Tim Collings – MOF Board Director and recent Order of BC Recipient for his V-Chip technology – who reminded us of the important role that technology innovation plays in education.

Special thanks to Genome BC for providing instructional DVD’s for all delegates; and to Science World for provide prizes and opening their doors to a venue that encouraged educators to explore science through the eyes of their students.

Odyssey delegates shared feedback on their experience at Symposium:

“Thank you for inviting us to the symposium today. I always find it an inspiring and energizing event.”

“This was one of the best education conferences I have ever been to.”

“Thank you for a wonderful day of collaboration and inspiration. I have been inspired to create a new course in robotics at our school.”

“I liked the format, schedule, venue, and networking opportunities. I appreciated the comments from Louise Turner about preparing our students for the workforce. I enjoyed the workshops on Makerspace, inquiry labs and the virtual classroom. The Odyssey Symposiums are the best Pro D for science teachers. I give the symposium a “10”! “

“Thank you for another exciting and very enriching weekend. The sharing time and workshops were amazing. I am grateful to you, Cheryl, and Ross, and the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation for the great opportunity for teachers, like me, to be exposed to and able to try new things with great resources.”

“I attended the Symposium last Saturday (this is my fourth year) and returned today to my classes with new and interesting ideas. I started teaching physics 4 years ago and the ideas shared have been invaluable for my personal growth as teacher and as a result for my students.”