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LPSD teacher bringing automated agro to classroom

By June 28, 2024No Comments
Shaun Donald is pictured during his final days at E.S. Laird before moving to the Comp next year. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) Grade 9 teacher Shaun Donald may be saying goodbye to the school he’s called home for 13 years, but he’s got exciting things planned for September when he starts teaching at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS).

Donald, who’s called E.S. Laird Middle School home for over a decade and was a founder of the school’s former cross-curricular program, Eco9, will be moving to the high school next year, and he’s bringing some new technology with him thanks to a grant from Alberta non-profit, Inside Education. 

LCHS’ Landbased Pathways program was recently awarded $5,000 through the A+ for Energy Grant for Donald’s proposed “H2 Here We Go” project.

“The project will be bringing block coding into gardening hydroponics,” explained Donald. “Students will be learning about block coding and will also be building little robots that will detect moisture in the soil, and once the moisture gets low enough, it will send a signal to the other part of the computer, which will then water the plant, so it’s creating an automated water system for plants.”

Donald will be teaching Grade 9 industrial arts (woodshop) and advanced arts next year and explained he didn’t plan on leaving cross-curricular education at E.S. Laird.

“It’s hands-on, it’s STEM, it’s a little different, and it brings things together,” said Donald.

“Instead of just doing woodshop, now you can do woodshop, but you’re bringing different elements of arts and technology to it.”

Donald also explained he’s a big fan of cross-curricular education as it requires students to use more critical thinking skills.

“Cross-curricular education has always been important to me. When we created the Eco9 program, that was a big aspect of it,” said Donald.

“Instead of siloing our education, instead of having just a math class or just an English class, all the subjects link together. You can’t learn math without knowing English, they’re all linked together, and for me, this is a much more complete way of looking at things.”

Having taught at E.S. Laird for so long, Donald explained he’s looking forward to next year’s changes.

“It’s going to be very fun but very different going over to the high school, especially with the 1,300 students at the Comp, but there’s a lot of opportunity, a lot of chance, and new things to explore and do over there,” said Donald. “I am looking forward to it, but I’m going to miss E.S. Laird after being here for 13 years.”

“E.S. has definitely been my home and it’s kept me here in Lloyd, so now it’s time to see what the Comp brings.”