Harnessing Creativity

Here we are, at the origins of my 2016-17 Propel project. Although I am still planning out how to construct the warming hut, Last year I spent my semester on Google SketchUp designing an interior, exterior and an overall theme. Now I am using SketchUp to essentially make 3D graphical blueprints to construct the warming hut.


We started out this week with some inspiration from Mr. Patrician. He is currently reading a book called Creativity Inc. by Edwin Catwell and Amy Wallace. The book is about harnessing and managing creativity. He picked out a specific exert from the book about the experience Pixar had when developing Monsters Inc. (2001). This exert relates extraordinarily well to the Propel program. I found that the students in Gr. 11 viewed the content differently from the Gr. 12 students. Reading this exert as a student that’s already been through the Propel program a made many connections relating to the previous semester. Hearing the perspective of professionals who work entirely to be creative was very eye opening, especially when hearing about their failures and how they overcame them.

Using SketchUp is beginning to bring back more memories of my old work in the Propel classroom. To start designing frames, I researched different sizes of lumber sizes that I could work with. Then I booted up one of my old SketchUp files of my warming hut and pulled all the pieces apart to start measuring. I will be soon ready to start construction of the warming hut!

Until next time,

Sean Kohli



Wait, what’s this? Two blog posts in one week! During this week in the Propel world we’ve all been very busy! We started the week with designing and brainstorming ideas for our projects. In the latter half of this week we started our initial drafts for technical proposals. My draft was something I thought would be easy and simple since I have previous experience writing this type of document, I was sadly mistaken.

Even though I have drafted and written this type of document before, I have been struggling more than I thought I would. Since my project revolves around last years work of designing a Red River warming hut, I am having trouble adapting and evolving the content to sound new, but also have a sense of reflection without sounding like I’m reusing content. Quite the interesting writing style, but the importance of this document demands it.

Yesterday we took a break from the project design process, and went to The Forks for an adventure. We were tasked with using a program in the Microsoft Office suite called SWAY, to create a presentation that tells a story of The Forks. Taylor, Shayla, and myself created a story called “Who is Sean Kohli: At The Forks.” This presentation is about a man named Sean Kohli who takes a trip to The Forks and goes to some of his favourite attractions. Besides learning this new program, we also learned about photojournalism.

We are almost ready to start working on our projects. Once the technical proposals are finished, its time to get to work! Now we are at the end of the week heading into Thanksgiving weekend! Over the weekend I’ll be heading out to Luther Village for a retreat. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Until next time,

Sean Kohli

Re: On the Rails.

After a period of classroom building, we’ve all started brainstorming and developing ideas about our projects. Some of us have really hit the ground running, and are developing really great ideas. Being the third iteration of the program, I’m expecting to see some projects that either repeat, or are very similar to work of previous students.

On the Rails

This semester I will be building off of a whole semesters worth of work, quite literally in fact. Since last semester I designed a Red River warming hut. I started out my brainstorming with a couple big picture goals already in mind. Mr. Hansen and Patrician had been thinking of using recycled materials in my project to reduce cost and add an environmentally friendly element to the build. I thought of making the design modular, to make the construction, transportation, and overall process easier.


With these seeds planted, I needed to do some research, elaborate on them so that they would grow. Thinking that this would be the hardest task, I started out by researching for a place to purchase recycled materials. Within my first Google search I was able to find a suitable retailer for recycled products. Cost, that’s another mountain to climb within this project. Admittedly, my project will be very expensive, so Mr. Patrician suggested that I should try to get an approximation of what the Warming Hut would cost, to do that I sent an email over to a local construction company about an approximate quote on the project. I am currently awaiting their response.

I’m very excited that we’ve finally started to get working on our project work for the semester. Being in this environment always inspires me, and seeing everyone working towards their big ideas makes me feel like this is definitely a superior model of education. With that in mind, lets break some eggs!

Until next time,

-Sean Kohli

Classroom Building Extravaganza!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you a brand new update from Sean Kohli’s blog. This week the class has been working on finishing up our classroom building. Walls are being painted, posters hung up, plants being placed and so on. But where does that leave myself? I decided to work with a team that was looking to soundproof our (as I like to call it) studio room. I’ll walk you through how we worked on this

We started with researching different soundproofing methods since I had no idea how we were going to accomplish our goal. Once we found some good information we then evaluated how we could spend a small budget to effectively soundproof the studio. After looking at a couple of websites we found that we would have to think outside of the box because soundproofing can get very expensive. Our main focus was to seal the door and the wall that faces St. Mary’s Rd. in addition to the large glass windows.

Our best solution was to create wooden frames and sew towels to them so the sound wouldn’t bounce around the walls. To solve the problem of the window, we used some leftover soundproof foam from last semester. We used Velcro strips to easily remove the pieces from the windows when the room isn’t in use. As for the door, a patch was sewn on the doorknob so the sound waves wouldn’t travel through. To seal the bottom of the door, a “door snake” was made out of towels and Styrofoam pieces.

Now if I ever get into music as an adult, I know how to soundproof a room and do it on a budget! Although I won’t be using the studio much in the Propel room, I’m glad to have been a part of its creation. Once all of the classroom building is finished I’m looking forward to start the build process of my Red River warming hut.

Until next time!

-Sean Kohli

Next Stop, Adventure!

“I’m going on an adventure!” That’s exactly how I felt last week after having an in-service on Monday and three field trips throughout the week! Unfortunately I also fell ill on the Friday of that week, so that’s why this blog post is late. Now that I am back at about 80% of healthy operating capacity its time to get back to work!

My first field trip from last week was with the Propel class and we travelled to the zoo in Assiniboine Park! The purpose of our trip was to learn about the sustainability of the zoo as well as learning more about issues surrounding Churchill Manitoba. Going through the journey to Churchill exhibit was a very eye opening experience, we got to see the different ways that our northern people face problems because of climate change. After we went through the tour we were tasked with finding a way to add some sustainability to the zoo. While we were there we saw that the zoo contracts a company to clean the inside of the polar bear water enclosure, my thought was to add some animals that clean the inside of fish tanks to the enclosure to clean the water. Thus eliminating the need to contract a separate company.

Wednesday’s field trip took me on a journey to Kelbrun Farm to volunteer at a program called “Agriculture in the Classroom” with my career development class called the Imagine Program. At the farm I was a guide for elementary students from all around the city. Being from the centre of the city, I haven’t been exposed to a lot of different agriculture experiences. This turned into a very eye opening field trip!

The last field trip of the week was quite somber at times. With the rest of the grade 12s from NMC, I went to Chapel Lawn Funeral home to witness a “Mock Car Crash.” The day was all about the effects of impaired driving, either with a cell phone or being under the influence of an illicit substance. Being a student that drives my self and my friends to and from events, it is always good to see the consequences of inappropriate actions reinforced.

Now that I am back to regular week in the Propel classroom, Its time to get back to work!


Until next time,

-Sean Kohli

Recalibrating… Stand by…

Here we are, back in the Propel program at Nelson McIntyre. For those reading this, you may recall that last year I made “vlogs” to demonstrate my progress throughout the semester. Well this year I have decided to make the change and start typing instead of filming.

Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, we can proceed to current business! After an eventful summer it is time to get back into the regular school routine. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and head to school. Except, this semester things are different from what they’d usually be! As I already stated, I’m back in the Propel program along with several other students from last year! We have already started to get ourselves settled in with all the different orientations Mr. Patrician and Mr. Hansen had planned for us. Last Friday we took a trip to the exchange district in the heart of downtown Winnipeg for a team building activity at Epic Escape!

At the escape room we were tasked with diffusing a bomb before the hour ran out. Unfortunately my group wasn’t successful… However we persevered and worked as a team down to the last second! Now, you may be thinking, “They probably weren’t even close to solving the room.” Well that isn’t the case! We were only missing one number! To get to this point, we used knowledge from lots of previous experiences. I had knowledge from different escape rooms under my belt so I was able to use that to solve a couple puzzles. Even though we didn’t solve the room, we did get very close and we had a good time!

During this semester, once again I will focus my time towards the Red River Warming Hut. However instead of designing, I will be getting my hands dirty and building what I designed last year! I’m looking forward to another semester filled with great experiences and great people! Check out next weeks update for more progress!

Until next time!

Sean Kohli