Thank you for an incredible year of growth, learning and friendship. Our community was captured perfectly in this year-in-review video created by one of our students. While 2022 is over, our academic learning journey has just begun! Read on to:
Meet three incredible Brain Power students and learn what skills-of-the-future they are developing with us.
Begin to celebrate students admitted to International Baccalaureate programs and learn more about our forthcoming UTS Stage 2 workshop!
Read our Education 'Hot Topic' feature article about student stress and prepare to work with Brain Power to conquer stress and ace exams!
Last call for winter workshops & a friendly reminder about spring workshops including Brain Designers Engineering!
& last but not least, we are excited to share that families can get ready, on January 11, 2023 for our 2023 summer and fall program release! We can't wait to unveil our new schedules and tell you more about the INCREDIBLE programming ahead across four locations (North Toronto, Vaughan, Oakville, Hamilton) & our virtual school
Thank you to every member of our Brain Power family. We had an incredible 2022 together and know that 2023 will be even better!
Resilient leaders have the ability to sustain their energy level under pressure, to cope with disruptive changes and to adapt. They bounce back from setbacks. They move forward, despite the odds, to lead themselves and others. We work hard to help our students become resilient leaders through stretch goals, challenging curriculum, eye-opening field trips & more. We also work closely with many high performance student leaders to help them juggle the extracurricular and academic demands!
Meet our Senior 2 student Karna who is a competitive Karate athlete and a Team Alberta prospect for the 2023 Canada Winter Games! She was recently a member of Team Alberta competing in Venice, Italy in preparation for Canada Winter Games. She proudly represented Canada on the World stage for the first time! WOW! Her athletic achievements are especially noteworthy given her incredible contributions to her Senior 2 language arts class and her noteworthy academic accomplishments.
Karna - your resilient leadership in sport and in academics is inspiring! Good luck at the Canada Games in February and we can't wait to see you back-in-class in January!
Critical Thinkers are active thinkers who evaluate and analyze information in order to determine the best course of action. Critical thinking is a focus of our Public Speaking Academy program where young orators learn to develop and refine their arguments over the course of one year.
Meet our public speaking student Gurkaram! Gurkaram was new to public speaking this year but has already engaged in classical debate, studied logical reasoning and fallacies and has been inspired by critical analyses of famous historical speeches. He also recently joined us at Speakers Slam at the CBC Glen Gould Studio!
Gurkaram: We are so proud that you have taken a risk to expand your critical thinking skills through public speaking! We can't wait to see what you achieve!
At Brain Power, we teach our students to be Creative Thinkers. Creativity is at the heart of innovation, driving insights and learning, and expanding what's possible. Almost all of our programs across mathematics, language, public speaking & more are imbedded with learning experiences to build creative thinking skills!
Given our focus on creativity, we were thrilled to receive the news that our language arts student, Sion, was published in Polar Expressions. His poem “Body Argument” was selected as honourable mention and he received a copy of his published work and certificate!
Sion: We are so proud of this creative achievement! As you continue to allow your brain to stretch creatively we know that the world will be your oyster!
Program Update Entrance Exam Celebrations Begin. Next Up: UTS Stage 2!
We are SO THRILLED that nearly 100% of students in our entrance exam preparation program seeking admittance to IB programs were sucessful! This year, IB admissions were incredibly competitive. Trends such a de-streaming Grade 9 mathematics and the elimination of entrance exams for specialized programs increased the number of IB applications. Stay tuned for a full list of successful students in February when our independent school students also receive their news.
In the meantime, we are preparing for our ground-breaking UTS Stage 2 program, offered online and in person beginning January 2023. UTS Stage 2 results are released on January 11th and we are already reserving spots for interested students. Click below to reserve your spot!
Ready to Print an Octopus? Trophy? Functioning Machine?
Brain Designers Engineering isan engineering and design workshop that challenges students to utilize cutting-edge software to design and compete to create objects of their very own! Check out the prototype Octopus Dr. Bacha is testing out this week!
Our new Innovators & Explorer workshop series is the perfect complement to our annual programs. Building upon our core language, mathematics and public speaking programs, our upcoming workshops, designed and led by some of our most sought-after faculty, will take student(s) skills to the next level. Read our flipbook to learn more about the entire series including Brain Designers: Engineering.
Brain Designers Engineering is an engineering and design workshop that challenges students to utilize cutting-edge software to design and 3D print an object of their very own! Younger students will be engaged in a weekly challenge to see who can design and 3D print the best octopus (and more!). Older students will build parts of machines! WOW! Dr. Bacha, a PhD material scientist, has been very busy working on prototypes, challenge ideas & more.
He can't wait to share his love for engineering & innovation with Brain Power students! Click below to learn more about this amazing workshop & more!
Education 'Hot Topic': Supporting High School Students
Sadly, one of the hottest topics in education today relates to adolescent stress management. COVID-19 school closures in 2020-2022 mean that many high school students have never written an in-class exam or had stringent assignment deadlines. At Brain Power, we work very closely with all of our high school students to help them to manage and cope with stress while still achieving incredible academic outcomes. All of our families with high school students will soon be receiving a personalized invitation for their student(s) to join our faculty for a series of complimentary workshops and experiences including exam preparation, faculty-supported assignment reviews, senior student field trips & more! High School families - watch out for this incredible series in your inbox this week!
In the meantime, we recommend reading this incredible article from Angela Duckworth's Character Lab. It is an insightful and research-based piece that debunks the myth that all-stress is bad and presents compelling strategies for preparing youth to conquer and overcome stress-related barriers to success.
“I think the geometry track is the way to go.”
“But I’m really worried about putting too much pressure on him.” When our 11-year-old son, Henry, was entering middle school, his mom and I were torn about whether it would be too stressful for him to join the most accelerated math track. That track devotes twice as much daily class time to math, setting kids up to take more advanced courses in high school.
Succeeding in that accelerated track would open many doors for Henry academically down the road. But there has been an alarming rise in stress-related mental health problems among adolescents in this country in recent years—even before the pandemic. We don’t want our son to succeed academically at the cost of his happiness and mental health.
What can parents do? Help kids think about stress with synergistic mindsets.
Synergistic mindsets combine two ideas.
First, when you’re learning something new, struggle and frustration don’t mean you’ve reached your limits—they’re signs that you’re expanding those limits.
Second, the uncomfortable feelings you have under intense stress—tightness in the stomach, a pounding heart, heavy breathing—are not signs that you’re headed for failure. That’s your brain recognizing you’re facing a major challenge and marshaling your body’s resources to give you the boost you need to succeed. That pounding heart and heavy breathing, for example, are helping deliver an extra liter of oxygen-rich blood each minute to your brain and muscles to help them perform at peak levels.
Research finds that when adolescents learn how to interpret difficulty and stress in this way, they experience fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms under stress. Their bodies also show the physiological hallmarks of a person thriving, rather than foundering, under intense stress.
Adolescence is a stressful stage of life. Treating stress like the enemy steers teens away from the challenges they need to help them mature into capable, independent young adults.
In the end, Henry decided to pursue the challenging path, and so far, he’s loving it. When he struggles with a difficult math problem or feels a little overwhelmed by the workload, we remind him of these synergistic-mindset insights to help him feel resolve rather than discouragement. These insights also help him see mistakes for what they are: a valuable part of the learning process; not a humiliating sign that he doesn’t have what it takes to succeed.
Don’t think stress is always a bad thing. Although rest is important, and each person must decide how hard to push themselves in pursuit of ambitious goals, stress is often an opportunity for personal growth.
Do explain the benefit of synergistic mindsets. A deeper appreciation of the valuable role stress plays in our lives can help adolescents to pursue the big, ambitious dreams they have for themselves without sacrificing their mental health and well-being.
This article was written by Christopher J. Bryan who is an assistant professor of business, government, and society at the University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. It appeared in Angela Duckworth's Character Lab blog (https://characterlab.org/tips-of-the-week/tough-new-growth/)
We are pleased to share that new sections for the 2022/2023 season have opened. If you have not reserved your spot this year email us at email@example.com to find out more if your student qualifies.
Stay tuned for the January 11th announcement of our Summer and Fall programming! Early bird registration begins soon! To secure your favourite teacher or preferred day of the week, watch for an email link in early January to book 1:1 time with a Brain Power ambassador to secure your spot!