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Victor Samou Wong: digital and creative literacy critical to a better world

Year: 2019 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Victor Samou Wong

Visual Art and Science, grades 9–12
Georges Vanier Secondary School, Toronto, Ontario

"I am submitting this application to recognize [Victor's] extraordinary leadership and exemplary teaching practices, as well as his commitment to help the next generation of Canadians gain the knowledge and skills they need for future success in a world inspired by ideas and driven by innovation."
— Nominator

Victor Samou Wong has transformed his school into a technology powerhouse and board-wide resource. The very diverse student population—with many newcomers to Canada and young people with a wide range of abilities—benefits from world-leading technology in the public education context.

Teaching approach

Victor believes that digital and creative literacy is critical for—and within reach of—everyone in order to create a better world. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to STEM education, he shows students how to become innovators by creating the new and making their dreams a material reality.

STEM in the classroom

  • Integrates STEM with art: anxious about world events, students created multilingual signs of welcome, working with parents, grandparents to learn languages they didn't know.
  • Integrates purposeful hands-on approaches to meeting curriculum requirements, while adding prototyping, robotics and electronics to students' repertoire: one student created an app to help developmentally delayed students gain life skills using games.
  • Emphasizes open-framed, problem-based learning that requires students to do research and then come up with their own solutions; the Grade 10 Science assignment "Building the future" sees students apply their learning on climate change to designing an environmentally sustainable house.
  • Encourages students to explore their cultural identity: students researched visual patterns of their heritage, and used numeracy and digital skills, and a laser cutter, to create lamps to display them.

Outstanding achievements

  • Established the ADVANCE Specialist High Skills Major at his school, one of the first at the secondary level to integrate robotics, 3D printing and electronics with the visual arts; introduced the first official laser cutter in the board, sharing it with students at the school and elsewhere.
  • Launched the school's Centre for Innovation Skills, used by students from across the board: invites elementary and secondary teachers to bring their classes for daylong workshops in technology.
  • Builds partnerships to bring STEM learning opportunities to the school, including training, and long-term and permanent loans of high-end equipment from companies and universities.
  • Received a 2018 Ken Spencer Award for innovation in teaching and learning for his record of pioneering the sharing and application of new technology across the curriculum.

Get in touch!

Georges Vanier Secondary School
3000 Don Mills Road
Toronto ON M2J 3B6

416-395-3250
GeorgesVanier@tdsb.on.ca
https://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/georgesvanier/
Twitter: @GeorgesVanierSS

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