This incubator brings together a group of students practicing inquiry-based learning.
GATHER:PLACE at CVAG is the home to a STEAM INCUBATOR for a group of young girls ranging in age from 11-14, facilitated by Stew Savard. Many of the girls are graduates or currently enrolled in the elementary school Montessori program at Queneesh Elementary School. Four of the students are heading to the ENTER program at Highland Secondary School under the guidance of educator Roger Vernon. This program has been “designed for students who have a passion for science, technology, and the online world.” (SD71 program information brochure)
The incubator is, in part, inspired by the work created by Deborah Dumka + Claire Sanford’s Our Young Girls interactive installations and related projects at CVAG this summer. The collaborative work of this artist and cinema photographer highlights the gender challenges those who identify as female encounter when entering into the fields of mathematics, computers, robotics, engineering, and technology.
A core group of the STEAM INCUBATOR had participated in a collaborative electronics/fibre workshop at CVAG entitled Lightly Lightly, facilitated by Deborah Dumka and Julian Rendell. Stew Savard had attended this workshop to check in with the participants, whom he had mentored in robotics as part of their Montessori education program at Queneesh over the past few years. From Lightly Lightly, a seed was planted to support the girls in their transition into the ENTER program.
This incubator provides spaces at CVAG and twice weekly sessions in July and August for hands-on learning for participants to become familiar with the components for building and programming robots and navigating the culture of these historically male-dominated subject areas. Guest speakers from the community have been invited to offer mentorship in their related fields.
The group will be showcasing their work on Wednesday, September 1 during the S.T.E.A.M. Incubator Open house + OUR YOUNG GIRLS Make Art Event.
The day will include a host of other art and technology activities as CVAG’s series of summer Make Art Events draws to a close. GIRL POWER T-shirts will be live screen-printed (bring or buy a shirt) for participants to hand embellish.