Pierrefonds, September 7, 2016 - The Beaubois College of Pierrefonds, a primary and secondary school, has undertaken a major and distinctive educational shift in Quebec by developing and setting up a digital manufacturing workshop, the Fabrique Beaubois. The Beaubois College is becoming a pioneer in the school world by creating a real symbiosis between pedagogy and technology. The teaching of various subjects ranging from arts to economics, including physics and geography will be able to materialize, from the start of the 2016 school year, with tools such as the 3D printer, laser cutting, audio and video equipment. . All gathered in a digital manufacturing workshop dedicated to learning by carrying out projects by students.
Developing the skills of tomorrow
The students will carry out collaborative projects there. “Our workshop,” says Beaubois College Director General Isabelle Talon, “will develop the skills and abilities sought in the 21e century: creativity, the ability to collaborate and co-create, a sense of organization and entrepreneurship ”. La Fabrique Beaubois is part of the most recent educational advances that can be observed, particularly in the United States.
"We are taking advantage of technology and the digital world to adapt education to the reality of young people," said Marc-André Girard, secondary school principal and one of the leaders of the establishment of Fabrique Beaubois.
Use digital technology to stimulate student interest
The Beaubois College has chosen to devote the time of two teachers who make the link between the teaching needs and the digital fabrication workshop. "We rely as much on the openness of teachers to new ways of teaching the training program as on their appetite to renew their teaching approach," says Michel Choquette, teacher and coordinator for Fabrique Beaubois. He adds: “Traditional methods alone are no longer able to actively involve most young people. They need their digital world to become reality. This transformation from virtual to real is done while developing the personal skills they will need throughout their lives ”.
Among the Fabrique Beaubois projects:
- the manufacture of an electromagnetic motor integrated into a vehicle and the achievement of performance challenges between students of the College and those of the Collège Nouvelles Frontières in Gatineau;
- the realization of a school project in the field of fashion ranging from the business plan, through the design of models, their manufacture and their sale within the framework of an event or online;
- the creation and cultivation and maintenance of a garden using a robot that will be built by the students;
- the design of cities in the form of robotic models by integrating services, public transport planning, etc., all in partnership with Margarida Romero from the Department of Studies on Teaching and Learning of the Faculty of Education from Laval University.
By using the digital fabrication workshop as a springboard, Collège Beaubois is already forging diversified links to complete its access to knowledge and know-how: with other schools, such as Collège Nouvelles Frontières in Gatineau; with Université Laval, for robotics and with the Cercle des fermières for learning to sew. "Our Factory and our school are alive and open and they evolve in collaborative mode, because the borders no longer exist when we carry out projects in digital manufacturing workshops", declares Mr. Girard.
The achievements at Fabrique Beaubois have in common: they stimulate the acquisition of diverse and complementary knowledge and skills as well as the commitment of students in the development of their ideas to their concrete realization, team spirit, healthy competitiveness and entrepreneurship.
“We are convinced that this educational shift is essential for all schools in Quebec. We owe it to ourselves to ensure that students are taught in accordance with the reality and culture of the digital age as well as with the needs of businesses and the new economy. We want our project to inspire, that it be imitated as often and as quickly as possible and that it spark a renewal within the educational community of Quebec, ”concludes Mr. Girard.
La Fabrique Beaubois will also open up to the community by offering workshops and stimulating the creation of extracurricular activities and clubs. To this end, the Factory will be accessible outside of teaching hours. La Fabrique could even be made available to young business people and Startups of the region.
Involve the whole community
The creation and development of the Fabrique Beaubois were undertaken during the 2016 school year. A committee of around twenty people, including eight students, was formed to participate in its development and the exploration of different formulas. used in the world of education. The Parents' Committee, the College Foundation and the teachers are also actively involved.
La Fabrique Beaubois has received the financial support of a donor who has been involved for several years at Collège Beaubois, Mr. Paul Cmikiewicz, who graduated in 1980. Mr. Cmikiewicz is an electrical engineer and vice-president of Transfab TMS which produces and distributes a vast range of electrical and electronic products for industry. The company SolidXperts and its president, Mr. Jean-François Niaison, are also partners of the project and they have contributed to it through, among other things, their expertise in the field of 3D printing and 3D design software. Finally, the Federation of Private Educational Institutions of Quebec and CADRE 21 are also involved in the project with, among other things, the granting of a grant from the Educational Development Fund.
About Beaubois College
Collège Beaubois, a non-profit organization, was founded in Pierrefonds in 1967 by the Communauté des Frères de Saint-Gabriel. It aims at the integral development of the person, surpassing oneself, openness to the world and offers all its students an environment promoting a healthy and active life, respectful of the environment. Each year, it welcomes some 1,300 students, 600 at the primary level and 700 at the secondary level.