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Connect, Create, Learn – iHub

School Distrct #43 – Coquitlam Bright Ideas Gallery

Imagine a school built around inquiry-based learning. Imagine a school where students take control and drive learning. Imagine iHub.

Stephen Whiffin (then Principal of the Inquiry Hub, now District Manager of Information Systems for SD43) took me through a day at the Inquiry Hub (or iHub). There are 3 distinct parts of the day at the iHub:

  1. Teacher-Directed Classroom time
  2. Learning Commons time
  3. Dedicated Inquiry time


1. Teacher-Directed Classroom time

The first part of the morning is dedicated to teacher-directed classroom time. This is the time when students get teacher-directed seminars in Science, Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts. At the iHub, language happens everywhere, and reading and writing are embedded in everything. They try to make learning about topics, not discrete subject areas, and try to connect learning all together.

Al Soiseth, a teacher at the iHub, described one of the assignments students did. Students blogged using wiki spaces about a road trip across Canada. This combined creative writing with Social Studies by mixing the processes of first-person narrative writing and blogging with the context of Canadian geography.

2. Learning Commons time




In the second part of the morning, the iHub becomes a giant learning centre. Students work on their online course material. Each student has a laptop and there are desktop computers available. Students break out to different areas to fit the context of their learning. There are two teachers available for support.



Personalized learning strikes chord in Inquiry Hub

Tri-City News, January 17, 2013, By Diane Strandberg

School District 43 is piloting a new education program in which coming up with a question is as important as knowing the answer — and so far, the students seem to be loving it.

What’s not to like about a high school that looks more like a lounge or a cafe than a typical classroom and where students set their own schedules for much of the day and work on projects mirroring their own interests?



Hannah Brown, Sophia Draper and Shauna Turner are Grade 9 students enrolled in School District 43’s new Inquiry Hub in Coquitlam which provides a blend of online as well as face-to-face and project-based learning.


New high school program planned

 ‘Inquiry Hub’ set to open at the former Millside Elementary site next September

Coquitlam Now, February 8, 2012, By Jennifer McFee,

“Millside is an interesting space because it was expanded on several times. It really creates three distinct areas. We’re just fortunate that one of those areas was built in such a way that it works perfectly,” Whiffin said.”

"Inquiry Hub at Millside"

Stephen Whiffin, district principal of Coquitlam Open Learning, says the Inquiry Hub will be based on the concept of the “work hub,” which is popular in Europe. Photograph by: Paul vanPeenen , NOW


Inquiry Hub prompts a bounty of inquiries

The Tri-City News, February 07, 2012 By Diane Strandberg

“An orientation session for parents and students is planned for Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Room at Winslow Centre, 1100 Winslow Ave., Coquitlam.  Students living outside SD43 can apply for the program. Graduates will receive a regular Dogwood diploma and can apply for post-secondary education as they would from any other school.”


SD43 unveils Inquiry Hub

The Tri-City News, February 02, 2012 By Janis Warren 

“Stephen Whiffin, principal of Coquitlam Open Learning, said the program was developed in response to the growing numbers of families looking for an alternative to neighbourhood schools, such as the greater personal choice inherent in homeschooling or online courses, but that still offer a classroom environment.”


Inquiry Hub Program begins September 2012!

School District 43 – Coquitlam, February 01, 2012 By Cheryl Quinton

“The Inquiry Hub is a secondary school program offering grade 8-12 students innovative, technology driven, full-time studies. The Inquiry Hub allows students to pursue their own learning questions by shaping their educational experience around interests instead of structured classes.”



 Blog posts & reactions:

Introducing the Inquiry Hub – David Truss – February 1st, 2012

21st Century Learning Is HERE – Jennifer Barker – February 23rd, 2012

Relationships… MATTER – Miguel Guhlin – February 24th, 2012

Truly Questioning Everything – David Truss – March 27th, 2012

David Truss on the Inquiry Hub – Barbara Bray – April 25th, 2012