Early child development resource continues to grow with global reach

February 3, 2023

It started as a way to reduce the gap between early childhood education and research. Today, RRC Polytech’s Science of Early Child Development (SECD) initiative has impacted the work of early childhood educators (ECEs) both here in Canada and on a global scale.

“There’s been a massive explosion in neuroscience and understanding of the child’s brain and how that has informed early brain development,” says Jamie Koshyk, a research faculty member in the School of Health Sciences and Community Services at RRC Polytech.

“These new discoveries impact your life. It’s a lifelong trajectory that starts very early on.”

SECD began as a partnership between RRC Polytech, the Atkinson Centre at the University of Toronto and the Aga Khan Development Network. It’s what’s known as a “dynamic knowledge mobilization initiative” — essentially, bridging complex research on understanding a child’s brain and turning that research into resources and courses that professionals and students can easily understand.

“By the time a researcher has a discovery and gets it into a textbook, it’s a process of a number of years,” says Elin Ibrahim, who leads the SECD initiative. “The whole idea of having it online and having it continually updated — and current — was attractive, and one of the major reasons that it all got started.”

Today, the SECD initiative includes four “living textbooks,” as the initiative calls them, which use a multimedia approach to share information. They include expert interviews, images, video examples of children, parents and caregivers, slideshows, websites, readings, questions for reflection, interactive games, activities and much more. It’s a modern way of learning and one that’s in high demand.

“In each of the modules, there’s always an overview, a research section and then there’s links to practice,” says Ibrahim. “That was another goal of ours: to look at how to make research practical. To do that, we organize it through different topics and modules, but also to bring in the practical — both for those working with early childhood students and for anyone working with children.” Read More →

Reinvented irrigation wheel ready to hit market with help from TACAM

January 31, 2023

It’s not often you can say you literally reinvented the wheel, but Matt Waldner of Cascade Manufacturing has that distinction.

Waldner, with ongoing support from the Technology Centre for Access and Manufacturing (TACAM) at RRC Polytech, is set to bring a low-maintenance, all-steel bolted wheel for irrigation systems to market this year.

Cascade, a company located in MacGregor, Man., that specializes in the design and fabrication of agricultural irrigation products, has been in business for 15 years and has been working on the bolted wheel since 2018.

Cascade’s all-steel wheel solves the age-old problem of deflated tires. The typical agricultural irrigation system you’d see from the highway uses that more classic definition of the wheel — with steel rims and an air-filled rubber tire, connected to the system by a nomadic pivot.

However, these wheels — as anyone who takes a spring drive through the city knows — are prone to losing pressure, wearing out and cracking over time under heavy use. This is where the all-steel wheel comes in.

“Nomadic pivots work really great, except for the issue of rubber degradation causing a maintenance issue,” says Waldner. “It might be three or 15 years, but within that time, the rubber will degrade and start to go flat in the middle of the field. With steel, we wanted to eliminate that integrity factor for flat wheels.”

Read More →

RRC Polytech rises to 11th place in ranking of Canadian research colleges

January 27, 2023

RRC Polytech is once again one of Canada’s top research institutions, as announced earlier this week in Re$earch Infosource’s annual ranking of the country’s top 50 research colleges. The College jumped three spots from last year’s 14th place position.

RRC Polytech ranks first in the prairies in the category Spotlight on College Research Activity – Medium Tier, and third for research partnerships nationwide. The College completed 93 applied research projects in the 2021 fiscal year.

“Partnerships are at the heart of everything we do at RRC Polytech,” says Jamie Wilson, Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development at RRC Polytech.

“We work with industry every day to come up with innovative, sustainable solutions to business problems. Thanks to the support from our partners in the community, industry and government, we can continue to make positive change here in Manitoba and throughout the country.

“This national recognition reinforces that ground-breaking work doesn’t happen in a silo. It takes a community of creative staff, students and industry partners to achieve the results that place us so high on this list.”

An ongoing partnership between RRC Polytech’s Prairie Research Kitchen, Prairie Fava — a Glenboro, Man.-based food startup — and Big Mountain Foods, a Vancouver-based innovator of plant-based consumer packaged goods, that resulted in an award-winning product is just one example of the innovative collaborations completed in the last year.

Another is a recent building airtightness test at Gordon Bell High School completed by RRC Polytech’s Building Efficiency Technology Access Centre (BETAC) that will help the high school reduce energy costs by 50 per cent. Read More →

Manufacturing new career paths: Gene Haas bootcamps offer hands-on training for youth

January 25, 2023

Starting next month, Winnipeg youths with an interest in 3D printing, manufacturing and robotics will have the opportunity to hone their skills and learn about new technologies through one-day bootcamps at RRC Polytech.

The Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps are open to students in Grades 7 and 8 (ages 12 to 14), along with their parents or guardians. Participants will learn how to create things using industry-standard equipment and technology, while exploring some of the many career options in Manitoba’s rapidly growing manufacturing sector.

“RRC Polytech is excited to partner with the Gene Haas Foundation on these camps because we know there is incredible potential for young Winnipeggers in the manufacturing field,” says Mark Blackner, Chair of Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing at RRC Polytech.

“It was important for us to include parents and guardians in these camps because often trades and technologies are seen as a dead-end job or back-up plan, which is not the case. Careers in trades and technologies allow people to create things every day, are high-paying and help our communities function and grow.”

Bootcamps run once a month, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. They’ll provide participants with training in:

• 3D printing
• Computer aided design (CAD)
• Computer numerical control (CNC) machining
• Industrial robotics

Along with the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner (Western Canada’s Haas Automation representative), the College has partnered with Career Trek and Skills Canada Manitoba to bring these bootcamps to life. Read More →

Holiday Hours at RRC Polytech

December 22, 2022

RRC Polytech will operate on holiday hours beginning at 4pm on Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.

During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be limited to the following hours:

Dec. 23, 2022Regular hours until 4pm
Dec. 23, 2022 at 4pm through Jan. 2, 2023Closed (no access)
Jan. 3, 2023Regular hours resume at 6am

Regular hours of operation will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 at 7am.

We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.

The great exchange: Brazilian teaching candidate finds cold weather, warm hearts in Winnipeg

December 9, 2022

Adão Lopes da Fonseca feels he was always destined to become a teacher. As a young child growing up in rural Brazil, he remembers constantly suggesting that family members of all ages play school with him, as long as he was the one leading the classes.

His passion for education never waned and he continued his studies with a goal of one day teaching English to the Portuguese-speaking middle and high school students of his homeland — but he never dreamed he’d end up perfecting his second language in Winnipeg.

That is, until he discovered that his excellent grades and achievements made him a prime candidate for an exchange program between post-secondary partners RRC Polytech and Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Ceará (IFCE).

It was an opportunity he couldn’t resist.

“It’s no longer something to dream of because I am living proof it can happen!” says Lopes da Fonseca. “I knew very little about the city, but my research warned me it would be frightfully cold, so my family was a bit worried. I was just excited about living a whole new life and making connections with so many new people.”

Adão Lopes da Fonseca, in snow-covered forestLopes da Fonseca’s four-month stint as a visiting student at the College’s Exchange District Campus is about to end, and while he had to wait until his final few weeks for winter to arrive, a recent cold snap has given him a new appreciation of the term “freezing.” As such, he’s grateful for those new people in his life who taught him how to dress to stay warm.

He will soon return home and present a report to his class on all the things he’s learned through the program, before collecting his English-Portuguese teaching certificate and license to teach middle and high school. He received a scholarship to come to Canada from his prospective employer, the Brazilian government, which will benefit from his experience observing classes, participating in lectures and seminars, and studying English for Academic Purposes teaching methodologies at RRC Polytech’s Language Training Centre (LTC).

“The main challenge to learning English is pronunciation, because in Latin America they have good comprehension, they can read, they can understand really well, but they lack conversation, which is needed to speak confidently,” he says.

“Most of the activities at the LTC are in groups, so when the instructors give out a task, everyone really helps each other and when you see that someone really wants to learn, it gives you the inspiration to give your best as a teacher.” Read More →

Eight RRC Polytech programs granted national accreditation

November 29, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech marked the accreditation of eight of its programs by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC).

The accreditation is the result of a comprehensive audit that includes a tour of each program’s labs and student support services, and interviews with its students, faculty, alumni and graduates’ employers.

The eight programs that received accreditation are: 

·      Electronic Engineering Technology 

·      Electrical Engineering Technology 

·      Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology

·      Mechanical Engineering Technology

·      Structural Engineering Technology

·      Architectural/Engineering Technology

·      Municipal Engineering Technology

·      Environmental Engineering Technology

“Achieving accreditation for these programs is a real win-win,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, School of Skilled Trades and Technologies at RRC Polytech. “Not only does accreditation open doors to even more career opportunities for our students, it provides our partners in industry with the essential talent to help their organizations achieve their goals. 

“RRC Polytech is grateful to Technology Accreditation Canada for this acknowledgment. The accreditation reflects the high quality of these eight programs, while enhancing graduates’ credentials as they enter the workforce.”

National program accreditation provides students, industry and RRC Polytech with confirmation their program has met defined standards. 

Accreditation also affords graduates an expedited path to certification through the Certified Technicians & Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM) and provincial certifying bodies across Canada.

“We congratulate each program for its commitment to delivering to students a high quality program that meets the current standards of the engineering technology and applied science profession,” says Stephen Morley, Chair of TAC’s board of directors. 

RRC Polytech celebrates 1,200 graduates at fall convocation

November 8, 2022

Today, at its fall convocation ceremony, RRC Polytech will celebrate more than 1,200 graduates as they enter the workforce prepared to face any challenge head on.

“Tonight’s ceremony is just the start for this resilient group of graduates. Acquiring their skills and credentials in an unprecedented period of constant change has added to their employability — they truly deserve a celebration,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC Polytech.

“Our convocation ceremonies represent opportunity and optimism, so we’re thrilled everyone can acknowledge this milestone accomplishment together.”

Many of the individuals graduating today completed a significant portion of their learning in a virtual or hybrid setting, and will celebrate their success along with their friends, family and instructors tonight at the RBC Convention Centre.

Among the honorees at tonight’s ceremony is Michael Stewart, RRC Polytech’s 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal recipient. Stewart graduates with honours from the Applied Accounting Certificate program and inspires everyone around him as a tireless volunteer, support worker and advocate in the deaf-blind community.

“From instructors and interpreters to classmates, I am blown away by the generosity, kindness and top-notch service provided by RRC Polytech,” says Stewart. “My education will open so many doors for me as I work toward becoming a chartered professional accountant and achieving my ultimate goal of changing the stigma associated with the ability of deaf-blind Canadians to work and contribute.” Read More →

Taking a hike to better mental health: Thrive Week 2022

November 4, 2022

Next week, RRC Polytech staff and students will cuddle with dogs, walk through the forest and learn the art of Japanese taiko drumming, all in the name of supporting their mental health and well-being.

The College’s Thrive Week activities encourage students and staff to focus on balance and self-care, while developing positive mental health that supports success in learning and work.

“RRC Polytech is committed to providing an environment where equity, diversity and inclusion can thrive — and part of that is addressing the diverse realities we each face when it comes to mental health,” says Melanie Gudmundson, Chief Human Resource Officer.

“Campus well-being is a priority. We understand that personal and community health contributes both to student success and employee engagement, so it’s important to offer opportunities for our community to find some much-needed balance in their busy days, whether they’re on campus or learning or working remotely.”

Read More →

Inaugural Inclusion Week celebrates equity, diversity and inclusion at RRC Polytech

October 31, 2022

RRC Polytech is strengthening its commitment to embodying equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) with the launch of its inaugural Inclusion Week.

From today until Friday, Nov. 4, the College is hosting a series of virtual and in-person events designed to inspire staff and students to live out the values of EDI at work, in class and in their personal lives.

“The principles of EDI are embedded into everything we do at RRC Polytech, and they make up an important pillar of our Strategic Plan,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO. “Rather than just talking about how important these values are, Inclusion Week gives our community the chance to experience these teachings first-hand through a variety of events they can attend throughout their typical work or school week.”

“One of our strengths as an institution is that we care deeply about the people who work and study here. Inclusion Week helps to foster a respectful, equitable atmosphere for our entire community.”

RRC Polytech is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action within its operations and in its work to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba. This commitment is a critical foundation for the College’s work in pursuing EDI within the institution and its partnerships — because those goals cannot be advanced without doing the work of reconciliation.

Inclusion Week builds off the momentum of RRC Polytech’s Truth and Reconciliation Week, held at the end of September, to further provide staff and students with opportunities to engage in the principles of EDI.

Read More →