Brain Power December Newsletter
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December 2017
Cora Usurelu and Sam Gorman
Speak at Think Tank 2017!
Cora, Karine, and Sam at Think Tank 2017
On Saturday, December 2nd, the Markham Mayor's Youth Council (MMYC) held their annual Think Tank event, "an evening of inspirational brings almost 200 high school students from across the GTA together under one roof – allowing youth to network while listening to passionate speakers with topics ranging from personal growth to humorous anecdotes, from personal shortcomings to noteworthy successes."

This year, the theme was “leave your mark,” and two of our Brain Power Public Speaking students did just that! Cora Usurelu and Sam Gorman (pictured above and below) were selected (after a rigorous process of applications and interviews) to speak at the event, and they  gave amazing and inspiring speeches!

Congratulations, Cora and Sam!
Click here for video clips of their speeches!
Sairamya Kurapati Wins First Place in
Ryerson University's National High-School Case Competition!

On Saturday, November 25th, Brain Power Public Speaking and Language Arts (Senior 2) student Sairamya Kurapati (pictured at left with her award) won First Place in Ryerson University's National High-School Retail Case Competition at the Ted Rogers School of Management. 

Sairamya says that "the best part was that the judges told me I won them over thanks to my public speaking abilities! I want to thank Karine for teaching me these skills here at Brain Power - I couldn't have done it without her and our public speaking class!"

Brain Power's Public Speaking Class Attends
Speaker Box Poetry Slam!

On November 15th, Brain Power’s Public Speaking students went on a field trip to the Speaker Box Poetry Slam competition

This was a valuable opportunity for our students to learn, first-hand, how the theory of public speaking becomes practice.

While all students learned a lot simply from being there, two of our students, Tian Shi Yuan and Cora Usurelu (pictured on stage below), competed in the event!

Our own Tian Shi Yuan and Cora Usurelu compete in the poetry slam!
Our Own Dr. Karine Rashkovsky-Tomas Speaks at
York Region Leaders Sustainability Forum and Next Step!
On the evening of November 30th, the ClimateWise Business Network hosted the inaugural York Region Leaders Sustainability Forum. The opening address was delivered by the Minister of Environment & Climate Change, MPP Chris Ballard.  It featured a moderated panel discussion on Innovative Practices and Emerging Trends in Sustainability. 

Our own Dr. Karine Rashkovsky-Tomas (pictured at left) was selected to be on the panel to speak on "The Future of Education" for York Region and Ontario.

What an inspiration to share the stage with Ontario's Minister of the Environment, GM's Program Manager, and Ontario's Policy Centre Representative (Mowat Centre)!

This momentous event was packed with business leaders from all over the province. The rich dialogue across the panel was intense and meaningful.

The theme of the evening was in tune with Brain Power's mission to empower youth to find their voice and become change agents in such pressing issues as the environment, climate change, and sustainability.

On November 24th, Karine also spoke at the Next Step: Academics, Career & Entrepreneurship for Teens conference (see poster at left).   Once again, Karine is ensuring that bright students from across the GTA are inspired and receiving excellent educational experiences.

Way to go, Karine!
Karine (far left) on the panel at the YRL Sustainability Forum.
Brain Power's Book Club Reads
The Spaghetti Detectives
On December 2nd, Brain Power's book club discussed The Spaghetti Detectives by Andreas Steinhofel.  The novel is about a pair of gifted boys, each with his own learning differences, who have to solve the mystery of a series of disappearances in their neighbourhood. 

We were joined by Audrey Wong-Key-You (Ph.D. Candidate , Psychology, York University) and Dr. Scott Adler who helped us understand the story by teaching us about psychology, attention in the brain, and attentional differences in highly intelligent individuals with attention disorders, such as ADHD.  

What a great and educational evening at Brain Power!
Join Us for Our FREE* Book Club!
We made the news!
Check us out in this month's Bullfrog Power newsletter:
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
Alumni of the Month
Anna Merkoulovitch

Currently: Software Engineer at Helix in San Francisco

U of Waterloo: Honours graduate in Comp. Sci & Bioinformatics

Thoughts on Brain Power:

Brain Power made doing math as an extracurricular activity surprisingly fun! The teachers are honestly brilliant, and I loved some of the extras they involved in classes - meditation practice, gamification, and study tips.
They also set me up to succeed in my high-school math and English courses, as well as prepare me for the MaCS entrance exam.

Our Holiday Staff Party!
Follow Brain Power on Social Media!
Facebook and Instagram
"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:

Recommended Reading
How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng
In How to Bake Pi, math professor Eugenia Cheng provides an introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen. We learn, for example, how the béchamel in lasagna can be a lot like the number 5, and why making a good custard proves that math is easy but life is hard.

Of course, it's not all about cooking; we'll also run the New York and Chicago marathons, take a closer look at St. Paul's Cathedral, pay visits to Cinderella and Lewis Carroll, and even get to the bottom of why we think of a tomato as a vegetable.

In her hands, math becomes less about numbers and formulas and more about how we know, believe, and understand anything, including whether our brother took too much cake.
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)
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.)

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