There is no shortage of projects at Collège Durocher Saint-Lambert (CDSL), located on the south shore of Montreal. The secondary school is setting up an ecosystem of innovation within the school, while forging new links with the business and research community, and projects are multiplying.
“In aiming for our students to become bold leaders, we decided to approach school differently. We have chosen to make it a place of convergence and meetings with the community so that our students can contribute concretely to promising projects and have a positive impact in society from now on ”, indicates Francis Roy, general manager of the CDSL.
The educational project of the school, which takes the name of Place of possibilities, is above all a way of approaching educational projects in partnership with various community experts (entrepreneurs, researchers or others). This project will become even more real during the fall of 2021 when a new pavilion will be inaugurated on the grounds of the College. This will become the physical place for the holding of meetings in connection with the projects. Construction is underway.
3 areas of expertise
It was following a consultation, carried out with staff, students and their parents in 2018, that the Place of Possibilities took shape. Three central themes guide the projects that are emerging: sustainable development, creativity and entrepreneurship as well as digital.
Although the physical location is still long overdue, several initiatives have been carried out so far and new ones are already planned for the next school year.
Thus, among other things, students participated in a cricket farm with the David-Suzuki Foundation, they helped the Gioia Foundation has developed a camp concept for children with rare or incurable diseases, they responded to a call for solutions from Doctor François Marquis of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont.
Artificial intelligence and sustainable development charters
More recently, three partnerships were concluded with Quebec universities.
The College has joined forces with the MILA (Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence) and its university collaborators as part of a five-year research project on the ethical development of intelligence. artificial in the context of education in Quebec. “This project will lead to the drafting of a charter for the use of artificial intelligence in schools. This will contain guidelines and recommendations for the school environment. Our students will take part in the meetings and will be able to bring their point of view, ”says Mr. Roy.
Other CDSL students will collaborate with 2nd cycle students from the Université de Sherbrooke as part of their integrative project to develop a sustainable development policy which will then apply in their school. It would also be about to be unveiled, according to the director.
Finally, as part of the Innovative Pedagogies in Visual and Media Arts course at the University of Quebec in Montreal, the CDSL will welcome university students within its walls. Their work will lead to the design and production of creative prototypes or innovative educational activities related to issues, challenges or needs expressed by members of the College staff.
“We hope to be able to inspire other educational establishments across Quebec to offer concrete projects to their students and to forge more links with the ecosystem around them. This type of collaboration is very rewarding and motivating for young people, ”concludes Mr. Roy.