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AROUND NUNAVUT: Coding, CubeSats, and committees take the stage

This weak, teachers from schools across the Baffin region met in Iqaluit to take part in expanding their own knowledge. Nunavut Arctic College joins up with Western University to build and send a small satellite out to space. Finally, QIA needs you.

Joamie School teacher Adam Laforet, and Michelle Little and Jonny Lush of Pangnirtung’s Attagoyuk Ilisavik take part in an exercise called Ping-Pong Rescue, which teaches a simple algorithm that reflects computational thinking, during a professional development week held in Iqaluit. The teachers can bring what they learned back to their classrooms.
Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

Teachers take coding to schools


Nunavut teachers gathered in Iqaluit this past week to tend to their own learning. Myriad professional development opportunities were on the agenda and, in one classroom at Inuksuk High School, coding was the name of the game.

About a dozen teachers gathered to learn some coding concepts and exercises to take back to their classrooms.

“We’re a national non-profit that started a little over five years ago in Montreal classrooms, working alongside teachers to try and figure out what a viable lesson plan would look like for coding in the classroom,” said chief knowledge officer with Kids Code Jeunesse Juliet Waters, who was teaching the teachers along with Matthew Griffin.

“We’re here today to really give teachers a sense of the scope and sequence of computational thinking and what it looks like in the classroom, how you deal with all the stumbling blocks as a teacher.”

The biggest stumbling block, said Waters, is that teachers are learning the material alongside their students.

“How do you do that as a teacher and not get intimidated by something your students may actually know better. A lot of it is not just learning code. It’s the psychology of teaching, the psychology of being vulnerable as a teacher,” she said.


Nunavut Arctic College extends an invitation to the public to come learn about an exciting satellite project Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre

What’s a CubeSat? Find out Friday


Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) is taking part in an exciting Canadian Space Agency program, thanks to a partnership with Western University in London, Ont.

As part of the CubeSat Program, the college will help design, build and launch a CubeSat – a small satellite in the shape of a 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm cube.

As senior instructor for the Environmental Technology Program Jason Carpenter explains, the project leads from Western – Gordon Osinski, Jayshri Sabarinathan, Matthew Cross – are in Iqaluit to meet college learners, staff, and teachers attending the teacher’s conference, as well as the public to brainstorm a number of ideas.

First, the satellite needs a name. Osinski, Sabarinathan, and Cross will discuss this with the college’s Inuit Studies and Nunavut Teacher Education Program.

“The partnership is technically between NAC and Western, but the naming competition and any other ideas can come from anyone from Nunavut,” said Carpenter.

The team will also be looking for symbols and designs that may be etched onto the satellite – these ideas will come from the Inuit Studies and Jewellery and Metal Work programs.

“But again, everyone is welcome to put forward suggestions,” Carpenter said.

The team is also looking at what CubeSat components could be manufactured here in Nunavut.

Finally, the team wants to know what things or events Nunavummiut might like to see via the CubeSat.

Carpenter and the Western team invited anyone in Iqaluit who was free Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. to pop by the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre and learn all about the project.


A place for time and passion


The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) needs people to fill several board and committee positions.

“To be considered, candidates must be actively and personally committed to represent the interest of Qikiqtani Inuit and have a sound understanding of the Nunavut Agreement as it relates to the roles and mandates of the position,” states QIA.

There are three-year terms open at the Inuit Heritage Trust, Kakivak Grants and Loans Appeals Committee, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, and a one-year term on the Nunavut Disabilities Council.

There are also positions available with the following committees: Iqaluit/Qaumarviit Joint Parks Management Committee, Sanikiluaq Joint Parks Planning Committee, and Auyuittuq Parks Planning Team.

The deadline for all applications is Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. EDT.