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Mar 19 2019


Greg Choi

Recently, long queues could be seen in the corridors of the Elementary School (ES) building during lunch time for three consecutive days. What could be the cause of all this commotion? Interestingly, this was started by two entrepreneurial and highly innovative Grade 4 students, Eva Zhang and Michelle Wang, and their amazing ice cream shop! Yes dear readers, you read that correctly: ICE CREAM SHOP! In front of the MakerSpace, where they designed and developed their amazing idea, the two young ladies decided to hold a pop-up store for three consecutive days, selling sweet frozen treats to very excited and happy ES students. As one can imagine, each day was filled with endless lines of students screaming for ice cream.

At first, Eva and Michelle shared they wanted to create various devices that would be really fun for all audiences, including an exploding color machine! However, after some trial and error in their design work, they finally decided upon an ice cream maker that would be easy for anyone to use and, most importantly, be able to make delicious treats of various flavors and colors. Through this endeavor, the girls were able to develop and further improve their skills in the areas of critical thinking, communication, empathy, and collaboration. Regarding the importance of the latter, Eva stated, "I learned a lot about working with a partner. You have to use teamwork, or you won't have a good result!"

It is also worthy to note how Eva and Michelle thought of their younger peers in Grade 3 when designing their product, mentioning they wanted to inspire and motivate them for when they study their "Where We Are in Time and Place" Unit of Inquiry. The two young inventors stated that by showing the younger students that someone in their school actually made a working product, this would help the younger students truly understand what the definition of "Innovation" is. Indeed, with their determination, perseverance, and a little help from their teacher Mr. Alex Davies (ES IT Team Leader) when using the app Fusion360 and the 3D printer, Eva and Michelle transformed their ingenious idea into a reality that all could see (and taste)!

Mr. Davis, being the humble person that he is, downplayed his role in the girls' achievement, sharing:

Students at the Elementary age are actually all creators and makers at heart that just need to be taught how they can communicate their ideas and achieve what they want to create. The main thing I did with Eva and Michelle, and try to do with all students, is provide as many opportunities to use the space as possible, encouraging them to try new things and showing them various ways of doing. I encourage them to sketch their ideas and talk to them about the possible materials and techniques they could use to create their projects. Giving the students freedom to choose how they want to create, and provide them with timely and constructive feedback on how they can improve, allows them to develop their ideas with confidence and helps to form them into independent inquirers and learners.

As true BCISers, Eva and Michelle followed the school's mission by empowering themselves to overcome all the challenges they faced when creating their fantastic ice cream machine. More importantly, they displayed a strong sense of being "compassionate and inspired people for the good of all" by donating all proceeds from sales of their ice cream shop to a charity of their choosing. We could not be more proud of these young creatives.