Calgary Science Centre and Creative Kids Museum Society
For TELUS Spark, 2015 was a year of highlights. In particular:
Want to learn and know more? Watch the following brief video featuring Jennifer Martin, President & CEO and click the highlight sections below.
1. Opened the next phase of The Brainasium
2. Took risky play to a new level in summer camps
3. Hosted researchers from Mount Royal University to study play
1. International Play Association Conference coming to Calgary in 2017
2. Continuing to develop great local partnerships
3. Premiering a new daily play experience in the Atrium
By: Katherine Ziff, VP, Content, TELUS Spark
Experts ranging from neuroscientists to perceptive parents are agreeing on the importance of play for developing brains. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada notes, “the benefit of play are recognized by the scientific community. There is now evidence that the neural pathways in children’s brains are influenced and advanced in their development through exploration, thinking skills, problem-solving, and language expression that occur during play.” (CMEC Statement on Play-Based Learning).
At TELUS Spark we find ways to play every day, and 2015 was a banner year for play and learning here. We opened phase two of The Brainasium, our year-round outdoor adventure park, adding sky-high swings and even more climbing challenges. We took risky play to a new level in our summer camps by bringing back classic play experiences that children may not get to experience these days, like roasting marshmallows over a campfire. And we hosted researchers from Mount Royal University who studied how children and adults play in The Brainasium (our levels of “vigorous play” are off the charts).
And we’ve got more exciting opportunities for play and learning on the horizon. We’re part of a coalition of local organizations collaborating with the City of Calgary to host the International Play Association conference in 2017, which will put the spotlight on play in Calgary for all of the world to see. These partnerships will foster greater opportunities for play collaborations across the city. Finally, we will bring our play and learning expertise indoors, with a new daily opportunity for play in the Atrium premiering in 2017.
1. Launched the first cohort of Spark School for Innovation by Design (SSID) in partnership with the Innographer
2. Refined the Play, Learning and Innovation pillars to engage our community in critical issues of Energy Sustainability
3. Expanded these pillars in our work with educators, via SHIFT Lab teacher training
1. Increase the number of cohorts of SSID and continue to refine this executive-style offering
2. Expand Energy Sustainability programs and exhibits, reaching and engaging more of our community in a deeper dialogue
3. Identify other opportunities to grow "family innovation capital" as both a site for families and a site that embraces innovation culture, via long-range strategic planning
By: Jennifer Martin, CEO, TELUS Spark
The Canadian innovation ecosystem is already strong and healthy, if, however, rather dissatisfying. As noted by Dan Breznitz of the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto, Canada’s public spending on business innovation as a percentage of GDP is higher than Finland, Israel and Germany. Over the past two decades our ability to invent is up from “good” to “excellent” indicating strength in ideas and application, yet we seriously lack in commercialization. And the evidence of global impact from our national innovation capacity is clear, but perhaps too much of that is from Canadians now living in the United States.
There is a false narrative of cultural inferiority in Canada; that we are too comfortable or complacent to be strong innovators. This is tempered by many policy-related calls to action, which tend to focus on treating the symptoms rather than the “disease”.
Breznitz suggests that we need to strengthen the Canadian “agents” of innovation – the companies and the people who actually do innovate.
What does innovation look like? How does it feel? How do we support it? Why is it valuable? And, what might families have to do with national innovation?
TELUS Spark believes that the attitudes, skills and behaviours to be innovative – solving problems, generating and communicating ideas, working collaboratively with others, and taking risks/accepting and learning from failure – can be learned. This skill development is at the heart of our 21st century science centre.
Innovation fluency in our culture, our schools, and our businesses can change our collective prosperity. Fluency, not merely literacy, ensures the ability to experiment, practice and build the skills and patterns of mind to innovate. Practical talent-fostering approaches have been developed and are being provided by TELUS Spark to mid-career professionals and families.
Equally important to fluency is the “family innovation capital” – the family understanding of, and relationship to, science, technology and innovation – that can shape the likelihood of how children see potential careers in these areas as desirable and attainable. The extent to which we value, encourage and foster innovation in our families, and of which science is woven into the everyday life of our families has a measurable and significant impact on our community for generations to come.
Fostering “innovation capital” in our national culture and our national identity is possible.
1. Developed two math and dance programs, expanding on our “M” in STEAM offerings
2. Offered exciting day camps on school professional development days
3. Welcomed a new cohort of 40 educators to our year-long SHIFT Lab program
BONUS: We held two semesters of our Prototype Project which engaged hundreds of Jr. and Sr. High school students
1. Expand customized team-based professional development for educators
2. Expand our awareness and practice to better meet the needs of First Nations students
3. Deliver new outdoor programs to take advantage of our 6-acre park
BONUS: Expand our Direct From programming
By: Diane Greenwood, Director, Education, TELUS Spark
TELUS Spark offers unique programs designed to foster experimentation, observation and collaborative learning for students, educators, and families. In 2015, over 71,000 students participated in our school programs and were encouraged to think differently by challenging themselves to learn in new ways. Our 40 curriculum-linked school programs focus on developing skills that are crucial for the growth of all students as they move into the future.
In response to a growing conversation about declining math scores, TELUS Spark collaborated with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks to teach math concepts through movement. Our two new programs have been enjoyed by elementary students in record numbers and it is truly amazing to see a whole class creatively immersed exploring concepts like reflections, translations or fractions.
The educators of SHIFT Lab cohort 2 have been working to offer innovative classroom experiences and push their teaching practice to new levels. We saw collaboration across school districts and grades that will have positive outcomes for students in Alberta. The programs that have been developed for SHIFT Lab are also proving beneficial within our training and staff development initiatives. We continue to push our own practice to stay fresh and innovative with the programs we offer.
With proven success in our school programs, we can now take a deeper look at how to better meet the needs of the community. All levels of government and school boards have highlighted a need for an increased focus on the learning of First Nations students. We are in a position to help by providing an informal learning space that could support the learning needs of this community. We will begin with extensive consultation with the first nation’s communities and by building partnerships with stakeholders.
TELUS Spark has courage to ask difficult and complex questions and to tackle controversial topics. Our educational programming is building on timely topics of environmental stewardship and energy sustainability. We can offer students the opportunity to explore real life challenges and find innovative paths forward.
“SHIFT Lab has given me an example and model of what is possible in the classroom. It has provided inspiration and direction for my own school and what 21st century learning should look like. SHIFT Lab has encouraged me to develop a more robust process of reflecting upon my own practices and those implemented in a school. If you want students to be excited about learning and engaged in the classroom, SHIFT Lab is providing some of the answers.”
-Clayton Roe, Principal, Holden School (Battle River School Division)
1. Consistently high ratings from visitors, for both the experience itself and the perceived value
2. Deepening partnerships with community organizations, numbering in the hundreds
3. Doubled access visits via Community Connections Program
1. Expand market insights to enable sound decision-making
2. Build on Energy Sustainability initiative as a convenor of programs and exhibits
3. Prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of TELUS Spark and 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017
By: Alison Pidskalny, VP, External Affairs, TELUS Spark
When TELUS Spark opened in 2011, we were Canada's first purpose-built science centre 25 years. TELUS Spark's operations began to see stability in 2015, in particular among our visitors and their experience and expectations. Our visitors come to TELUS Spark expecting a fun family outing and the opportunity to learn and play together. The overwhelming majority of visitors indicate high satisfaction with their visit, which is an important Community indicator for TELUS Spark.
We also welcomed a substantial number of visitors via our Community Connections Program, Cultural Access Pass and Spark Learning Connections. Community Connections has grown to a program engaging 40 social services agencies representing the full spectrum of social needs, from disability, addiction, homelessness, hunger, mental health and new Canadians. Free visits by clients of these partner agencies grew by 90% in 2015 over 2014. Our participation in the Cultural Access Pass program was also key, serving our newest Canadians with access to TELUS Spark. We also initiated a new program, with support from HSBC, called Spark Learning Connections. Launched in September, it provides subsidized school programs, bussing and healthy snacks for high-needs schools.
As we look ahead, preparations for our 50th anniversary were initiated late in 2015 from origins in the Centennial Planetarium. The anniversary, aligned with the sesquicentennial of Canada, will be an important opportunity for TELUS Spark to thank the community, our visitors, members, partners and supporters, and engage them in the future vision for our organization.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited
Crescent Point Energy
Devon Canada Corporation
Nexen Energy ULC
Lightstream Resources Ltd. / Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd.
Progress Energy Canada Ltd.
Suncor Energy Foundation
APEGA - The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
Walt & Irene Deboni
Imperial Oil Foundation
TD Bank Group
Chevron Canada Resources
Cisco Systems Canada Ltd
Country 105, Q107 and QR77
Dick & Lois Haskayne Fund at the Calgary Foundation
FirstEnergy Capital Corp.
JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group
The Kahanoff Foundation
PATTISON Outdoor Advertising
RGO Office Products
The Saxberg Family
W. L. Buchanan Family
Western Economic Diversification
ARC Resources Ltd.
Bennett Jones LLP
The Calgary Herald
Alan R. Collyer
Deloitte & Touche Foundation Canada
Art & Bonnie Dumont
The Fitzpatrick Family
Friends of the Calgary Science Centre
Martin & Christina Kratz
Peter & Lorraine Moore & Family
Karen & Ryan Shay
Harley L. Winger
Brent & Laura Allison
Cameron Bailey & Gelaine Pearman
Julie Bowen & Ian Brunskill
Burstall Winger LLP
Care Factor Computer Services
Mary & Chris Fong
GMP Securities LP
Dr. Francis Hartman
Jan & Mark Herman
Duncan & Judy Kent
Cindy LaValley & Carter Bond
Beverly MacLeod Family Fund at The Calgary Foundation
Jeff & Susan Mackey
Jennifer Martin & Linda Heimlich
McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd.
McKinsey & Company
Julia Pasieka & William Pasieka
Peters & Co.
Dr. Gayla Rogers & Brian Rogers QC
Al & Gisele Schreiner
Dr. WA Sam & Claudia Shaw
Spectrum Marketing Canada Corporation
The TAO Foundation
Georgine Ulmer & Glen Moyer
Urban Venus Nail Bar
Linda & Gord Vogt
Alloy Dining Ltd.
Alba Apuzzo & Lazzaro Mautone
Gabriela Ascencio de Myers
Robert & Ellen Austin
Ian D. Bruce
Chinook Energy Inc.
Dennis & Grace Cheng
Bill & Diane Chomik
Eric & Gayle Clavelle
David & Donalda Cormier
Barry Crean & Joanne Ho
Darcy & Kary Cuthill
Ken & Jillian Faulkner
Art & Shirley Froehlich
Rodney D. Gray
Lloyd H. Godfrey
Jacob & Reed Grelowski
Don & Maureen Henderson
The Hurley Family
Ron, Kim, Kris & Kyler Kelly
Dr. Don Kjosness
Michael & Jennifer Koury
Philip & Lyndsey Krepela
John & Laura Krill
Natalie & Jeffery Lawson
Stephen & Mary Lougheed
Bruce & Susan Madu
M. Ann McCaig
Michelle & Toby McKenna
N-Force Crane & Equipment Ltd.
Alison Pidskalny & Douglas Robertson
Karen & Jim Prentice
Karen Radford & Jason Grelowski
Judith M. Romanchuk
Sheila M. Shaw
Sinopec Daylight Energy Limited
Scott R. Smith
Hugh & Rhonda Stowell
Lynn Sutherland, Brett & Barry Martin
Brad Struble & Cheri Sydor
Synergy Land Services
Kathryn Vincent & Simon Bent
The Ralph & Gay Young Family Fund
1287827 Alberta Inc.
Association of Fundraising Professionals Calgary & Area
Candice Campbell-Behm - Miss Calgary, Canada 2012
The Boyd Family
Catherine & Allan Brown
Joan & David Carson
Steve & Michelle Caswell
Donald & Barbara Christensen
Paul & Bernice Clark
Dr. Marlee & John Cossar Family
Robert & Loren Currie
In loving memory of Jenub & Joosub Da Da
Jason Demers & June Fong
Edamame Kids Inc.
Helen C. Fitzpatrick
Brian & Lori Fyke
Nancy & John Henderson
Leonore J. Hunt
The Jackson Family
Michael & Debra Kerr
Doug & Hayley Kirker
D, J, S Lake
Dr. Cooper Langford
Carmen & Micheal Ly
Jennifer & Steve Major
Christine A. Manion
N. Deo Mishra
Godfrey & Diane Nowlan
One Design Inc.
In Memory of Edward James Peacock
Bruce & Sylvia Pultz
The Russell Family
D. S. Samcoe
Dr. Kyo Sato
Benjamin Shaw & Tiffany Stone
Bill & Carol Smith
Marc J. Stachiw & Family
David & Lia Thompson
Barry & Corinne Wasyliw
Gordon & Helen Wells
for Mike West
White Oak Associates Inc.
Alex and Elinor Bolton
APEGA -The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists
Benevity Community Impact Fund
Brad Struble & Family
Cameron E. Plewes
Carl Van Veen
Cenovus Employee Foundation
CGG Services (Canada) Inc.
Chevron Canada Resources
Coca Cola Refreshments Canada Company
Dr. Donna Wood
Linda & Gord Vogt
Ronald & Heather Mueller & Family
Inland Pipe, a Division of Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd.
Walt & Irene DeBoni
Judith R. eckstein
Dr. Kyosaku Sato
Lightstream Resources Ltd.
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Robert & Ellen Austin
Suncor Energy Inc
TD Bank Group
W. L. Buchanan Family