Raptor’s Day at the YMCA Academy

To wrap up their placement at the YMCA Academy, Seneca College student Ambar Fadul Gonzalez recruited her peers Zach and Jenta to plan an epic “Raptor’s Day” for the Academy students! This day included fun activities such as designing a Toronto Raptors logo, slogan, or poster, and participating in “blindfolded basketball,” where the students used teamwork to help their classmates score a mini basket. Meanwhile, a small film crew was on site conducting interviews for their upcoming documentary about Toronto Raptors Fans!

These activities built anticipation for the beloved annual Students vs Staff basketball game which took place later that afternoon. It was an incredibly fun experience for the entire school, whether they were there to play, cheer, or watch! Students from both the middle school and high school participated, filling the court with spirit, effort, excitement, and teamwork! In addition to playing on the day, YMCA Academy student Nathan M. has provided an excellent account of how the game went:

TEACHERS BLOW STUDENTS OUT OF THE WATER IN ANNUAL BASKETBALL GAME – Nathan M.

Two weeks ago, the staff and students of the Y Academy took to the court to compete in the annual Students vs Staff basketball game. Midway through the afternoon, most of the school filed into the gym either to play or to cheer on the teams, assisted by college placement students.

The student team clearly came in without much of a game plan, as they quickly racked up turnover after turnover and missed shot after shot. Apart from inspiring defense by Nathan Moloney on Luka, and a few good moves by Zach and others, the students were hounded on both ends of the court. Indeed it was truly a struggle for the younger students. The game opened with a 12-2 run by the teachers before the students even got another basket.

Yet the student team was not to be held back, rallying amongst themselves to get a good run going. Taking pride in their attacks on the teachers, with a very lively bench getting the student team into the flow of things, they developed some momentum.

By the turn of the second half however, things had entered into “a match of D,” with both teams using defense more than the offensive end. Fighting tooth and nail, the students took a chance to launch a comeback.

Shots came aplenty yet baskets were hard to make. Ryan and Zach led the charge on that end, while the entire team fought hard on the other end. However it would not be quite so easy as Brandon and Katie began to take over the game, tearing up the D. Luka became a third titan of the court as the lineup went smaller on him, allowing him to grab the rebounds and nail easy layups on small ball defenders.

The students had to draft in outside help from a member of the Y, but it was too late in the game. The teachers’ three basketbrutes dealt a huge blow to the student team, leaving them buried around a mountain of dirt and basketballs.

The game did not even get a true ending, as the game had to be ended early due to time issues, leaving the teachers on top with just a little more left on the clock. Hopefully this leads to a better student attack next year for a rematch of the much anticipated annual basketball game.

Check out the rest the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page!

Environmental Action Plan

In our Biology unit, the grade 10 students spent time learning about the environment and how long certain materials take to decompose. Once they had completed their research, we decided to spread awareness by making a fun 3D display! The students brought in items and worked together to build the display. Most students were shocked by what they had learned, and made Environmental Action Plans to spread awareness and commit to changing something about their lifestyle. Some replacement items included:

  • Reusable or recyclable coffee pods
  • “Unpaper towels”
  • Bamboo toothbrushes
  • Concentrated cleaning detergents with reusable bottles
  • Biodegradable dog poop bags
  • Steel, paper or glass straws
  • Reusable coffee mugs

  • While reflecting on what they had learned, this is what they had to say:

    “The numbers don’t surprise me but I want to help because a lot of harm can be done by these things in the amount of time that it takes for them to decompose.”
    -Jasper G-S

    “These numbers surprise me a lot! I’ll be able to make adjustments to the products that I will use after learning this. I will start to recycle more.”
    -Ryan dV-C

    “I can’t believe that Aluminum cans take between 80 and 200 years to as long as a million years. I might recycle more.”
    -Lex B

    “Some of these do surprise me because it takes so long to decompose. Some of the ones that surprise me are plastic bags that take 10-1,000 years to decompose. Another one that surprises me is Chewing gum takes 5 YEARS. Candy wrappers take 10 to 20 years. Glass bottles take a million years to decompose or they don’t decompose at all!”
    -Claire K

    “All of these numbers did surprise me because I never knew that it takes that long for things to decompose!!!! I will make adjustments to the products that I use regularly after what I have learned in order to help save our world!!!!! I would also recycle more because it is better for the environment!!!!”
    -Melia M

    “A lot of these numbers surprise me and I will start to make adjustments to the products I use by using more environmentally friendly products and after learning this I will start to recycle more”
    -Erin R

    “There were lots of things that surprised me when I was learning about how long everything would take to decompose. It takes 1000 years for a plastic toothbrush!” -Matthew S

    Our class challenges YOU to consider your environmental impact and make sustainable changes!

    The Lens of Peace


    In November, the Super Sciences combined forces (peacefully!) to investigate images of peace in the community. Brydie’s class introduced relationships while Megan’s class introduced how light forms images as we reflected on historic, present and future relationships in our global society. The classes collaborated in building camera obscuras! The students in the photograph (not taken with our cameras!) are building the cameras. The aperture collected the light and the tinfoil covering the aperture helped to reflect onto the surface of the wax paper. The light rays, traveling in a straight diagonal direction, inverted the image onto the wax paper that acted as a window to the world. The idea was to reflect on how we create ideas of peace from diverse perspectives. We captured images of peace through drawing and actively reflected on what is peace in our society as we engaged in a brisk walk through the city streets.

    Cross Curricular Connections: Woodland Art Meets Ecology


    Last week two classes took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for walking field trips exploring Woodland art and Ecology.

    The Indigenous studies class visited a mural by the woodland artist Philip Cote called The Original Family. After recording their descriptions of the mural, through audio notes and sketches, the class identified features of Woodland art, and learned about the history and significance of the art form. The class then sauntered over to Allan Gardens and applied their newfound knowledge to sketching native species in the woodland art style.

    The science class is currently studying biology and we recently learned about the levels of ecology. We wanted to connect our learning to real life so we went on a mini adventure to identify levels of ecology in our own surroundings. We walked to Allen Gardens in order to observe the living organisms and non-living matter. We admired the scenery then categorized what we saw into either an organism, population, community, ecosystem or biosphere.

    The science class and the Indigenous studies met up after they finished their respective activities and shared what they learned. As a final cross-curricular learning challenge the scientists identified the level of ecology of each species the artists had sketched.

    “Our Rights” ART Exhibit

    Every child under the age of 18 has rights. These are things that allow us to live a full life and allow us to live to our fullest potential. Every child around the world has the same rights!

    In our “Dynamics of Human Relationships” class, we learned about the rights and responsibilities of children by studying the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. Every student chose a right from the Convention and creatively campaigned for it through art, posters, song or video.

    This assignment was about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives and in communities, as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision-making-being the loudest voice in the crowd!

    “I chose Article 31:The Right to Play and Rest. I picked this ‘right’ because I feel like it is very important that we let people have the chance to play and rest and get to experience life in their own way. I think that playing is important because that is how we learn and grow. I wrote a song about my ‘right’ because I really like music and songwriting and it is something that I really enjoy. I feel like it is a good form of self expression and I think that if I write a song then it would be a good way to get the point across.” AB

    “I chose Article 38: The Right to Protection And Freedom From War. I chose this right because war is a traumatizing thing to see by young eyes and so I chose it because everybody needs to be protected from hatred. The message I expressed was in a painting. I enjoy painting very much and I decided to put it into a painting. It’s the one way I can truly express myself.” QK

    “I chose Article 23: The Right to Special Education and Care If You Have a Disability. I decided to do this ‘right’ because it is significant for me and other children with disabilities to get extra support to practice their writing, speaking, reading and understanding skills so they will get an education to help them for their future and to learn how to get support when they need it.” AE

    “I chose Article 31:The Right to Play and Rest because I think that playing and sleeping as a child is one of the most important things you can do to grow up.” I was inspired by the Unicef videos my teacher showed in class so I made my own video to show my ‘right.’ OS