Students propose schools of the future

Ministers invite Leduc student to build schools of the future

Brennan Hunker meets Minister Ray Danyluk, who is responsible for school construction.

Edmonton: On Thursday, June 23, twenty Alberta students joined Education Minister Dave Hancock and Infrastructure Minister Ray Danyluk for a discussion on “Schools for the Future”.

Brennan Hunker, a 16-year old student from Christ The King School, had never met Ministers Hancock or Danyluk; however, he was impressed by their interest in students’ ideas. “They took in all of our ideas. They really wanted to know what we felt the schools of the future would look like.”

As part of the discussion the students were asked for their ideas and then given building blocks to create models of schools in the future. Brennan’s team created a two-level school that emphasized a technology rich library and ample research space. Other ideas included placing ponds and other natural environmental features next to schools and having classrooms powered by wind energy.

According to Brennan, the real benefit of discussing the future of schools with government is that students’ perspectives can be incorporated into the planning and designing phases. “The Government isn’t simply looking at the teachers’ needs or what is easiest to build. They want to know what it is going to take to give students the best place to learn.”

A grade 11 student, Brennan acknowledges that he will graduate long before a school of the future is constructed. He is optimistic that his feedback will provide tangible benefits. “One day, my kids will be able to enjoy these schools,” he says hopefully. “It’s pretty cool to be able to influence how those schools will look.”