26. Designing for Change Paddling with Passion and Purpose

District: No. 10 (Arrow Lakes)

Students at four schools – and throughout the district – participate with teachers, local artists and designers, to investigate the forms and fruits of creative thinking, critical thinking and engagement in design thinking through hands-on project based learning. This project is evolving with the participation of community members and the leadership of Métis and Sinixt Elders through “multi-disciplinary place-conscious hands-on learning” in building, and then using, paddles. In this, this project’s inquiry focuses on students who are “creating a clear connection from the learning they are doing in school to the world around them.” 

As with all of the artifacts we are able to share here, we are so grateful to this project to be able to share this project’s Rural Schools Symposium 2016 presentationmaterials. Unfortunately, along with this powerpoint we can neither convey to grace of Terry’s representation of their work in this project, nor the exceptionally beautiful video that was included in it. We will link to it here soon however…so please stay tuned!

Shared at the 2017 Rural Schools Symposium, with thanks we can now make available the people and initiatives of this project via their compelling Design Thinking Trailer.

Available here is the project’s 2017 Rural Schools Symposium Presentation – its a (pretty big) powerpoint available for download in another window (so give it a bit of time).

Here’s a lively and informative video from Hackathon & MakerDay 2018 at Lucerne Elementary/Secondary School.

These are three pictures from our paddle carving project. The first picture shows the introduction to the project, with a lesson on the various types of paddles used by First Nations across BC, and the different ways each paddle was used. 

Man holding an artefact and standing infant of a presentation.

The second picture is from one of the initial carving lessons. On this day one of our local elders joined in with the students and the class told stories about canoeing and what is special about the area where they live. 

Students at a carving lesson

The final picture is of some of the completed paddles. They have been carved and stained, and soon they will be used to paddle, before this though each student will paint the paddle with a picture representing themselves and/or their connection to the land. 

8 completed paddles

These pictures represent the journey
our students have undertaken this year, and the successes they have achieved.
Carving a paddle is not an easy task, and neither is being in middle school.
There is a lot to learn to make your paddle perfect, and one learns a lot about
themselves while carving the paddle. These paddles represent the whole spectrum
of students, and makes visible their learning and their efforts.

One of the biggest things we noticed
was the time and space that was created during the carving. All of the students
were working together and during that time there was space for silence,
storytelling, jokes and a variety of learning opportunities that is difficult
to facilitate in the classroom.

Here is the Paddle with Purpose 2018-2019 final project report (opens in new tab).