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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Laurier in Haiti October 2015 Trip: Preparing for a summer institute and science program

In two weeks, I'll be in Haiti again. I am anticipating an excellent trip with two focus areas:

1. Preparing for our 2016 summer Laurier Educator Institute in Cap-Haitien.
2. Developing a program that will support girls and teachers in science and engineering.

The Laurier Educator Institute will provide an opportunity for Canadian and Haitian teachers to learn together in a one week professional development setting. We are anticipating an environment including 10-15 Canadian educators and up to 200 Haitian educators with learning strands in special education, school leadership, critical literacy, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). An early goal is that the Canadian educators will be paired up with leading Haitian educators to co-lead the workshops. Another unique aspect of the summer institute will be a parallel summer camp with a science focus. I am tremendously excited about the summer institute and camp; we have been working toward this opportunity for three years.

In October, our seven person team will also be training a group of Haitian teachers to support a science and engineering program. Many North American elementary and secondary school students have the opportunity to participate in FIRST Lego and FIRST Robotics competitions. My son has participated in the FIRST Lego program for the past two years and I have had a nephew who was heavily involved in FIRST Robotics. Both are superb programs to engage young people in developing a science and engineering mindset in a very accessible and friendly fashion. At the end of the training, our partner school in Haiti is anticipating having a club at the school that will get young girls involved in the programs.

We are passionate about supporting the capacity of Haitian educators. The summer institute and science/engineering program have the potential to dramatically impact the educational outcomes of hundreds of Haitian students. We have developed a research program to track the outcomes of these initiatives. Stay tuned for more details!

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