Brain Power November Newsletter
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November 2017
Brain Power Sponsors
THacks 2!
This year Brain Power was honoured to be a part of THacks 2,  known as "Toronto's premier hackathon for learning, building and innovation," which ran at the University of Toronto from October 21-22 (see pictures below). 

The event featured a jam-packed, 24-hour lineup of workshops, speakers and competitions. At the end of weekend, teams of hackers pitched their projects and competed for incredible prizes.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants!
New Members
Welcomed to the Brain Power Team!
Dr. Karun Pathak, Associate Instructor

Karun earned his B.A. from the University of Toronto, going on to earn a Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnological Law and Ethics from the University of Sheffield and a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Moral Psychology from the University of Bristol. He has extensive teaching experience; he has not only taught at the primary and junior levels, but also at the post-secondary level (University of Bristol, University of the West of England, University of Guelph-Humber, and Humber College).

Karun takes a creative, comical, and philosophical approach to teaching. He believes that life is about endless learning, and teaching is about awakening the natural learner and seeker within the minds of students. 

Franco Saccucci, Associate Instructor

Franco holds a B.Ed. in English Education from the University of Alberta, and he is currently completing a Master’s degree in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Franco’s research, teaching, and activism have earned him provincial and national funding and scholarships, affording him the opportunity to travel across the country, speaking at national conferences and facilitating teacher development workshops. 

Franco is passionate about teaching, learning, and ensuring students become critical thinkers and critical doers. In pursuit of this shared goal, he is more than thrilled to join the fantastic team of educators at Brain Power.

Katherine Griffin, Executive Administrator

Katherine completed her B.Sc. at York University and TEFL certification (specializing in teaching young learners and Mandarin speakers) from the University of Toronto. She then went to China where she worked as a teacher and school administrator in public and private education.

While she was in China, she was a recipient of a Certificate of Excellence for two consecutive years in recognition of her dedication towards building school community spirit and fostering positive educational experiences. 

Katherine believes that accessible and affordable high-quality education is the key to success, and she is excited to bring her talents to the Brain Power community.  

Our Administraive Staff: (left to right) Dara Greaves, Katherine Griffin, Tonya Seltzer, and Hannah Merchant
Fahrenheit 451
at the Civic Centre Resource Library in Vaughan!
Welcome to the Civic Centre Resource Library!

On October 28th, Brain Power’s book club visited the wonderful Civic Centre Resource Library  in Vaughan (see pictures below) in Vaughan to discuss Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. We were given a guided tour of the building by one of the many helpful librarians (see pictures below), and we saw all of the amenities offered to the public free of charge!

  • Green Room: complete with high-end cameras and video cameras, and editing software like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro
  • Recording Studio: complete with a professional mixing board and rack and instruments
  • Publishing Services: publish your own book for free as an eBook, and potentially have it reviewed by Library Journal, a prominent book reviewing magazine
  • Maker Studio: complete with 3D printers
  • Teen Zone: a special area dedicated to teenagers and their interests
  • Study rooms
  • 70,000 items, including books for adults, teens, kids, and tons of movies and cds
  • Tables and large meeting rooms
  • Outdoor patio
  • Approximately 50 employees, including librarians, clerks, and pages

What better place to discuss Bradbury’s chilling vision of a world without books than in this stunning new library!

Join Us for Our FREE* Book Club!
Brain Power supports clean, green electricity
with Bullfrog Power®
At Brain Power, we recognize the importance of addressing our environmental impact. We are excited to announce we’re taking a big step to reduce the carbon emissions footprint of our business by choosing 100% green electricity for our company with Bullfrog Power.

“Brain Power has made the environment an essential part of our commitment to sustainability,” said Karine Rashkovsky-Tomas, Founder and Director, Brain Power Enrichment. “That is why we are proud to be partnering with Bullfrog Power to support clean, renewable electricity for our business location."

Across Canada, Bullfrog’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities, with at least 50% sourced directly from this region. Bullfrog ensures the electricity going onto the grid on our behalf is from green sources, displacing energy from polluting sources.

As Bullfrog Power uses its customers’ support to provide funding to new green energy projects, our green energy purchase is also helping provide critical financial support to new renewable energy projects in our region and across Canada. Learn more about Bullfrog’s support for community-based green energy projects by visiting

We are proud to be choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power!

To learn more about Bullfrog Power, visit their website at
We made the news!
Check us out in this month's Bullfrog Power newsletter:
Cultural Capital and World Affairs
at Brain Power!
On Saturday, November 11, Brain Power held a Cultural Capital and World Affairs workshop, and it was a big success! Students took part in an intense 3-hour session, building their worldliness with our very own Dr. Karine Rashkovsky and Dr. Jessica Wright!

We had a wonderful time exploring: 
  • our human geography
  • our human evolution and what it means to be a tool-using human (our evolutionary story: fire, language, agriculture, scientific method, and the future of our technological advancements) 
  • a history of our planet and human story (4.5 billion years ago through to today) - important moments in time! (treasure those timelines!)
  • how we read the news with a critical mind
  • our political system vs. the US
  • UN - what is it and what's it for? 
  • analyzing current event stories (our newspaper article hunt!)
  • how to write a worldly essay (comparing worldly vs. simplistic thesis statements)
Congratulations to our students who are now ready to take on the world!
Enroll Early for Our Annual
Math & Logic Olympiad!
Math Homework at Brain Power:
A Recipe for Academic Growth
  • We believe in encouraging children to develop a “growth mindset” that views challenges as “energizing rather than intimidating” because “they offer opportunities to learn” (Dweck 2015).
  • This requires that students are challenged, and that means getting stuck on certain questions, getting certain questions incorrect, and returning to rethink certain questions more than once.
  • This is why we deliberately split our homework questions between those that:
    • Give students an opportunity to reiterate and reinforce skills and techniques that they have learned (or seen demonstrated) in the classroom.
    • Challenge students to use their creative thinking to tackle problems that go a bit beyond what they have learned (or seen demonstrated) in the classroom.
  • If students get a homework question incorrect, they should reattempt (but not resubmit) it before the next class. (Parents should not feel obligated to “step in” to explain the problem to their child.)
  • In the next class, the instructor will review all of the homework questions, taking extra time to explain those that students found particularly challenging.
  • Not only does this approach encourage children’s academic growth, but it also bolsters their self-reliance, resilience, creativity, and flexibility in the face of intellectual challenges.
More information on developing a "growth mindset" in children:

Dweck, Carol S. “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids.” Scientific American. (Jan. 1, 2015).
Post, Gail. “A life lesson for gifted children: failure.” Gifted Challenges. (Aug. 9, 2013)
Alumni of the Month
Michael Kapps
Michael (right) accepts the award for Millennial Impact Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
We are proud of our alumni, Michael Kapps!

 Founder & CEO of TNH Digital Health (TaNaHora-SaudeDigital) in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Misson: For Brazilians to have access to basic health support and information in the face of enormous social inequality.

Awards: Named Millennial Impact Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 by the Global Social Impact Investment Group (GSG) in Chicago (at the GSG Impact Summit 2017). GSG’s vision is to use their global Impact Investing movement to address the planet’s social and environmental challenges and to drive Impact Investing to its Tipping Point by 2020—their theme for the Summit.
Follow Brain Power on Social Media!
Facebook and Instagram
at Brain Power!

Brain Power provides specialized courses in ROBOTICS, CODING, & AEROSPACE! Teaming up with LOGICS Academy educators, we believe that experiential learning through robotics and aerospace applications is the most impactful way we can engage students in learning the science and math curriculum to develop skills that will help shape our future.

Our lessons provide students with the opportunity to develop learning and innovation skills such as: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity as they carry out fun and meaningful experiments utilizing aerospace and robotic equipment that they design and build!

* Contact the office at 905-303-5457 or
(See our schedule below for class times.)

"The Prime Minister’s Youth Council is a group of young Canadians who provide non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada on issues of importance to them and to all Canadians. Listening to young people about issues that matter to them is an important commitment of the government. As Minister of Youth, the Prime Minister wants to hear directly from young people. The Prime Minister’s Youth Council is one mechanism to support this dialogue."

"Youth Council members meet both online and in person several times a year to discuss issues that matter to their peers, their community, and their country. They interact with each other outside of meetings to discuss ideas and upcoming activities, and to talk with their peers about issues that matter most to them. There may also be opportunities to engage with local and national organizations, meet with policy makers and decision-makers like Cabinet Ministers, and attend public events."

Prime Minister's Youth Council - Main Page:

For More Information (including the text above):

The Application:

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Meet Our AMAZING Instructors!

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Brain Power Enrichment Programs Ltd. · 9600 Bathurst Street · Vaughan, On L6A 3Z8 · Canada