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Kickstart Change

2013 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CanadaStudent Class photo student action prject kickstart change

Alana Krug-McLeod from Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, proposed the idea of using Kicksleds to help protect the Saskatchewan River Basin by encouraging a change in attitudes towards transportation. “Kickstart Change” aims to popularize a healthy, sustainable, versatile, alternative transportation mode (kicksledding) while promoting winter activities and building useful skills amongst youth.  Kicksleds take their inspiration from various places: dogsleds have traditionally been used in northern regions of the world, and even penguins from the south that waddle and then glide on their bellies.

The three phase plan involved building kicksleds, organizing a winter festival, and establishing sustainable transportation infrastructure. The first phase of this project ran from September to December 2013 and involved introducing the concept of the Kicksleds to the Aden Bowman Collegiate industrial arts class who then became involved with the design and building of the kicksleds.  These students gathered outdated and damaged skis, reusable wood and metal to use in constructing the kicksleds.  The Aden Bowman Collegiate Eco Club awarded donated prizes for the most innovative, efficient, compact, and eco-friendly kicksleds designed and produced by the students.

Alana then approached the ScienceTrek class at Montgomery School as a partner on this project. The ScienceTrek Program is an accelerated science program that combines outdoor activities with intellectual and social awareness-building. ScienceTrek partners include Alana Krug-MacLeod from Aden Bowman Collegiate Institute, who initiated the project, and WeShare, who helped fund the project.  After attending the EF Global Student Leaders Summit: Environmental Conference in CostaKickstart Change Students pushing sled  Rica in April 2013, Alana received an EF Student Leaders Summit Prize, which included a grant from WeShare.  This grant from WeShare was used to fund the project.  Many other unofficial partners (parents, community members, teachers and administrators) worked behind the scenes and alongside the students to make this project a success.

The attached pictures showcase the various styles of kicksleds that were built by the ScienceTrek and Aden Bowman Collegiate industrial arts students as well as pictures of the students using the kicksled outside for recreational purposes. Montgomery School, with Alana’s help, put on a winter festival where the kicksleds were unveiled.  Interestingly enough, some of the students that participated in Alana’s project have now entered the 2014 CFW competition and have placed in the top ten finalist groups for this year’s competition.