Benjamin Kelly: A master of STEMpathy education
Year: 2019 — Province: New Brunswick
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Technology, Computer Science, Math, Cybersecurity, Digital Productions, Entrepreneurship,
Co-op Education, Environmental Science and Media Studies, grades 6–12
Caledonia Regional High School, Hillsborough, New Brunswick
"The technology he has in his room is incredible. … There is always so much going on and he keeps adding more and more. I love how he creates a project mission with us and lets us choose how we accomplish that mission."
Every single student at Caledonia Regional High enrols in Benjamin Kelly's STEM program, giving him direct access—and a positive influence over—every graduate from this small rural school.
Benjamin focuses on empathy and global competencies in his many courses and extracurricular activities, while creatively supporting students' STEM mastery. With his catchphrase, "The world has enough flashlight apps," he encourages students to develop real solutions to real problems.
STEM in the classroom
- Created the STEMpathy Centre where students can reach out to peers around the globe through Skype, increasing their sense of belonging; the room is a safe space for high school students to build community via STEM activities, and a spot for middle schoolers to practise their STEM skills.
- Harnesses the video game Minecraft for learning: for example, students from six continents are building responses to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in a shared world Benjamin set up.
- Encourages students to pursue personalized learning through STEM: one designed the Pink Flag for Anti-Bullying Awareness now sold and flown across Canada; another developed an app to translate common school phrases from Arabic into English for newcomers to the school.
- Provides opportunities to pursue STEM outside the class: students helped hand-release Atlantic Salmon into a river system, and designed and released a high-altitude STEM balloon
- Responsible for many firsts the school has achieved, including having the first K–12 dronography program in Canada (students practise disaster relief deliveries and do flood damage surveys with a fleet of more than 10 drones); students were the first creators of iOS apps in Atlantic Canada.
- Leads school's Community Engagement Professional Learning Community: attracts co-op and professional development opportunities, along with advanced technology not seen in schools.
- Named Apple Distinguished Educator Advisory Board Member for the Americas, Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow, New Brunswick STEM Educator of the Year Award and an NB Innovator (a rare provincial honour he shares with the inventor of the scuba tank).
- Provincial leader in creating and piloting STEM and digital citizenship education resources, and was part of teams that created the province's STEM curriculum for grades 6 to 10.
Get in touch!
Caledonia Regional High School
35 School Lane
Hillsborough NB E4H 3B8
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