Inspiring a Province

Sometimes in New Brunswick, we have a small town complex. “My dream is to …. But I am just from New Brunswick”. “That is such a big problem, what can a small action from New Brunswick do?” This can translate to our education system as well. “We are a poor province, our education system must be terrible.”
I hope that this little project helps to destroy these attitudes. I get to rub shoulders with lots of celebrities. This little project is deemed worth by their heroes. If their teacher can make it big, perhaps they too can follow their dreams.

JRDN and me


Silken Laumann and me

Craig Keilburger and me 20151027_152429 20151027_155023

Craig Kielburger and Tracey

Other places are showcasing a New Brunswick-Colorado-UK project as a model to follow. Perhaps we can make an impact. Since we are small and near the bottom, maybe it is an opportunity to make a dramatic change in our 10 year plan. BC is trying to, but they are larger and have more inertia to overcome. We have an opportunity to become world leaders in education. Where people will immigrate to NB so that their kids will go to our schools. We have the talent in our province, we just need to be bold enough to use it!


Hell on Wheels

Henri Winckler

henry winkler


We Day Alberta!!

One Million Lights was invited to speak to 16,000 students at WE Day Alberta. For the first time, Gareth, Tracey, John and I were together in one place. Thanks to SMART Technologies who brought us together, we finally closed the circle. We made it to the Big Leagues.


DCIM100GOPROGOPR0844.we day sign signatures behind scenes lights team ready to go on lights team on stage lights team on stage 2 light team in cue line gareth in cue line gareth and i in cue line
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I wonder if this will lead to growth in the number of participants in the OML/Engineering Brightness project.

We need a web page that can handle the traffic and collect data. We need a way to collect data on who is participating, where the lights are being produced, where they are being sent and a running total. I would also like a total number of volunteer hours.

OML Changes to Engineering Brightness

There has been some confusion about our name because there is another organization that is similar. Where they are fundraising to purchase lights, we are trying to have kids put their own hard work into the lights for their partners in learning around the world.

If the project is to be owned by the community, the community should name it. Students, teachers, and volunteers contributed and voted. There were two close options. While gathered together at a coffee shop in Calgary, we decided on a name. My original favorite did not stay my favorite.

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Engineering Brightness (Ryan Martine’s contribution) has a nice play on words. Not only are we trying to engineer lights so that students can study in brightness, we are also trying to be deliberate about growing a brightness of heart with the philanthropy and brightness of mind with the learning and design thinking. 

Michelle Romanow Keynotes at Shad Cup

The newest Dragon from CBC’s Dragon’s Den also happens to be on the board of SHAD Valley International. She gave a wonderful Keynote to the SHADS and the Shad Cup.
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She encouraged the SHADs to use their inexperience to just make it happen. Being young means she did not know that she was not supposed to be able to do it. It also meant that she had little to lose. She did not have a family to support. So take bold actions while you can.
Planning generally won’t save you from the big issues that show up. You cannot predict the problems that show up. Do not let “analysis paralysis” set in.
John Howe is looking for someone to inspire their students, particularly girls, into the entrepreneurial realm, both for business and social arenas. I wonder if Michelle would be interested in speaking.

Her story about going to St Andrews’ to get her Caviar was particularly interesting to the UNB SHADS as we visit there every year. Perhaps she would be interested in revisiting St Andrews’ with us next year!

I also wonder if she would be interested in Pretty Brainy and Brainy labs??