Year: 2017 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Queen Elizabeth High School
9425-132 Avenue N.W.
Edmonton, Alberta T5E 0Y4
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 10-12, Computer science, robotics, and networking
Striving for inclusion, Mark Mercer is a computer science teacher who creates a class culture of faith and trust where computers are the how and what we use to function and connect with each other in an ever-changing world.
Mercer prepares students for an innovation-based new economy through a flipped classroom approach that allows students to explore the world beyond classroom walls. Students follow an organic process as they work on different projects and "choose their own adventure".
- Mercer built an innovative program that combines computer science, robotics and networking, providing industry-level certification while balancing post-secondary exploration and student leadership. In two years it has grown from 16 students to a district flagship program.
- Regular collaboration with industry partners like Google and Cisco have students inventing their own apps, and building autonomous robots that can see and create memories. Mercer established an Innovation Lab that combines disciplines and has students developing employable skill sets like website and app development, or circuit board building. Students also refurbish computers and laptops, learning skills to keep their tools working for themselves and, potentially, others.
"The environment Mr. Mercer creates is simply astounding. In less than two years my child has been transformed. He is an animated young man with solid career goals, confident in his computer science skills. [My son] not only excels in this program created by Mr. Mercer, but he has also grown socially."
"Mark's greatest gift as a teacher of computer sciences however lies in his ability to develop a high quality program that stays within the current stringent school budget while simultaneously serving the diverse needs of [the school]."