SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Rosie P.

Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
For Grade 9 student Rosie P., it was apparent that the education system in its current form has some flaws and could be preventing students from reaching their full potential. Their first-hand experience in school prior to attending Shawnigan led them on a journey of exploration as they set out, for their SOUL Seeking project, to design a school with students being the focus, not the adults who work within it. 

Their project is the result of researching specific elements of school design, including what makes a school student-friendly, how it looks, and perhaps most importantly, how it is managed, as they felt this is the area with the greatest room for improvement. Some of the questions they explored addressed school breaks and in-session time – for example: is it more beneficial to have longer school breaks or four-day school weeks? In addition to the management structure, school design was explored as well. Rosie wanted to design a school that was realistic, and where students would be able to flourish and be excited to learn; a space that would encourage them to achieve their goals. 

With their school building blueprints created and a school logo designed, Rosie put together a presentation that displayed their research and findings. After months of careful planning and organization, they reflect on their project, saying, “Honestly, I didn't actually expect to find as many issues with the school system as I did and I was most surprised by my findings because I would expect society to want to invest more in kids’ education and the future.” They feel there is still much work to be done when it comes to improving schools, and with young minds working on inquiry-based projects like this, the future is already looking brighter. 
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.