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Applied Skills

Culinary Arts 10-12

Cooking is about teaching.  It is the passing of knowledge, recipes and science from one generation to the next.  Teaching is not just about conveying information but also how the information is received.  Cooking involves not just thought, ingredients and measurements but passion, dedication and inspiring creativity.  The GISS culinary program prides itself on the importance of educating students on healthy choices, fresh food, including taking an active role in caring for our greenhouse and garden.

Computer Studies 10

In Computer Studies students learn about computer hardware and will understand the basic choices when building their own computer. Students will also learn intermediate features of software applications with a focus on spreadsheets and Excel.  Students will continue learning text-based programming using Python to plan and write computer programs, including games.

Computer Programming 11

In Computer Programming 11 students will learn text-based programming using Python.  No previous knowledge of programming or Python is necessary.  Students will learn to break down complex problems, construct algorithms, and program solutions. This course is designed to help prepare students for further studies in Computer Science or Engineering.


Computer Programming 12

In Computer Programming 12 students will continue learning text-based programming using Python. Students will learn advanced programming structures as well as collaboration and version control tools. This course is designed to help prepare students for further studies in Computer Science or Engineering.

Engineering 11 & 12 *New Course 

In Engineering 11 & 12, students will use the applied design process of identifying context, defining, ideating, prototyping, testing, making and sharing as they learn concepts relating to engineering products.  Designing for the complete life cycle, from resource extraction to build to recycling will be considered. Students will learn  about math, physics, and computer programming related to engineering processes, and use tools and technologies that support the engineering process.   

Robotics 10-12

Robotics - Beginner

This introductory robotics course is a hands-on STEAM course that teaches basic programming concepts while encouraging students to think creatively, analyze situations and apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to real world problems.  Students will work independently and in teams to build robots using Lego Mindstorms.  Students will learn basic programming concepts and use block-based coding to program their robots to move, respond to stimuli, and solve problems. 

 Robotics – Intermediate

This robotics course is designed for students considering pursuing degrees in engineering or computer science.  It’s a project based, STEAM course that teaches electrical theory, breadboard circuitry, and text based programming.  Students will solve problems by creating schematic diagrams, producing circuits, and programming Arduinos.  Students will use CAD skills to 3D print or laser cut enclosures for their solutions.  They will program Arduinos using C and learn constructs to support input from sensors, output to motors, decision structures, and loops.

VEX Robotics 8-12: (Outside the timetable – Tuesdays 4:10 – 6:30)

VEX Robotics is for students who want to learn about engineering or continue to develop their skills in engineering and robotics. No previous experience is necessary. Students work in small teams and use the engineering design process to design, build, and program a robot to compete in this year’s VEX Robotics Competition. This course helps students develop creativity, teamwork, leadership, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Local Engineers, Industrial Designers, and Computer Scientists mentor the team and as a result, students also become more knowledgeable about future career and educational pathways.

3D Printing and Laser Cutting 10 - 12

This drafting and 3D Design course is designed for students considering pursuing degrees in Engineering or Industrial Design. It’s a hands on, STEAM course that teaches computer aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing techniques. Students design objects using Autodesk Inventor and then create these objects using a 3D printer and a laser cutter. Students follow a design thinking process that combines an understanding of the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and critical thinking to analyse and fit solutions to the context.

Woodwork 10

The junior Woodwork program introduces students to various aspects of the cabinet making trade. We begin by studying, designing and constructing a project within specific design guidelines. Emphasis will be given to: awareness and application of wood design; working knowledge of wood (wood species, products, structures, fastenings, and finishing application); safe and correct use of all power equipment and hand tools; a responsible attitude towards fellow students; and maintenance and responsible care of equipment.

Metalwork 10

This is a course for grade 10 students interested in learning metal shop skills, through using materials and machines to make useful projects. Shop practice, safety and cleanup and service of tools and equipment are emphasized. Operations and procedures in all metal practices such as: arc welding, oxyacetylene welding, lathe work, drilling, forging, grinding sheet metal work and scroll work are introduced. This is a comprehensive basic metal course. Skill and craftsmanship, with safety, is stressed.

Woodwork 11 & 12

This senior Woodwork program includes: exploring aspects of past and present examples of good industrial design and relating this in the design, planning and construction of wood products to a high standard of craftsmanship; using wood and other related materials as they are used in the industry; using various methods of wood surface protection and finishing; discussing difficulties as related to the mass production of wood products in our industrial world. It also includes the refining of design and cabinet making techniques. Students design, plan and craft their own projects.

Metalwork 11 & 12

The Metal Fabrication & Machining program is a general metalwork program which emphasizes the development and mastery of skills associated with bench work, hand tools, and machine work. Later, emphasis is on the extensive use of machines such as lathe, milling machine and arc welder. The set of courses provides valuable experience for those going on in the machine, sheet metal or automotive trades.

Photography 10-12

Photography  - Beginner

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital photography and photo editing.  It covers camera care, composition, and Photoshop basics.  Throughout this course, students will apply critical, creative, and reflective thinking skills to their work. They will also create an on-line portfolio.  

Photography - Intermediate

This course is designed to take students' digital photography and photo editing to the next level.  It covers shutter speed, aperture, ISO, manual exposure, long exposure and intermediate Photoshop techniques.  Throughout this course, students will understand the purpose of a critique and choose when to apply suggestions.  They will also create an on-line portfolio.

Photography - Advanced

This course is designed to introduce students to studio portrait lighting.  It covers the behaviour of light, types and sizes of lights, reflections, main lights, fill lights, background lights, hair lights, kickers, and rim lights.  Throughout this course, students will understand the purpose of a critique and choose when to apply suggestions.  They will also create an on-line portfolio.

Yearbook 10 - 12

In Yearbook 10-12, students design and create the GISS yearbook.  In this course students get the chance to take photos of the people and events that happen during the year.  They also learn graphic design, journalism, and digital publishing skills.  Students will understand the marketing side of yearbook including costs, sales, and connecting with the Salt Spring Island community to create and design advertisements.  

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