In the SMR Program, students learn engineering from a teacher with an engineering degree with industry experience.

SMR lead teacher Vernon Kee has a Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, worked for years in the automotive industry as a project manager making robotic welding assembly lines, and has won both the Premiere's and Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching.

He has inspired many students to go on to the top engineering programs in the country, and his network of graduates are called upon to provide his students with mentoring and even job help!

In the SMR program, students learn engineering from an engineer!


Advanced Robotics

The SMR Program utilizes a wide range of robotics development platforms which includes Lego, Vex and the new Arduino electronics prototyping board.

The SMR Program is the first and only high school in the TDSB to implement teaching Arduino and Wearable Technology from Grades 9 to 12.

These tools give our students an edge in engineering programs as they have practical, hands-on use of prototyping kits used in post-secondary education.

Most of all, these kits make learning fun, as students are engaged in a process of design and implementation.


This Open Source electronics prototyping platform is typically integrated into engineering courses in university. In the SMR Program, students use Arduino in Grade 9, completing several exploratory labs that will teach them how to use devices such as flex sensors, touchpads, servo motors, shift registers and more.  Students will utilize their skills to propose a culminating project.  The final project can be anything they want to build, as long as it displays enough knowledge of the materials taught!  Some project materials can include Arduino add-on products such as: Motor shield, MP3 shield, 6DOF robotic arm, Wave shield, RGB 8x8 matrix, Gameduino and more.  The SMR Program also invests in Kickstarter projects to provide our students with the latest, cutting edge technologies which are not available to the general public.

At this time, SMR is the only school in Ontario that implements a full Arduino program in an engineering course for Grade 9 students.  Arduino is more commonly used in engineering programs at the university level and also in industry.

Check out this video from Stan Winston FX studios to see how an example of how Arduino is used in the FX industry:

STAN WINSTON Studios Arduino Course

Feel free to check out some of the technology we are using that makes us one of the most advanced Arduino high school programs in the world:



Wearable Technology:

Technology you can sew!  Lilypad is a microcontroller based on Arduino that has parts which can be sewn into clothing.  Typically used at the university level at OCAD, this technology is quickly becoming a hot topic among fashion and costume designers as they gain the ability to add lights, sound and even motion to their creations.  In the SMR program, students have access to work with wearable technologies starting in Grade 9!

3D Printers:

The SMR program has access to the largest 3D printing hub in the TDSB.  We have 4 3D printers (and growing) that we can use to build anything we want, any time.

The problem with 3D printing in a classroom is that it is very slow.  A simple Pikachu Pokemon model can take 30 minutes to print.  Printing a set of these for a class of 30 would take 15 hours.  Having more printers reduces the time to produce class work.

Our 3D printer hub is gaining more 3D printers as we grow:

uPrint Plus:  This $25,000 3D printer is able to print in ABS using soluble support material that allows us to build complex shapes from functional adjustable wrenches to chainmail.

Flashforge Creator Pro:  This dual extruder 3d printer allows us to print 2 colors at a time or use soluble support material.  With a larger print bed, this 3D printer is capable of doing many jobs at once.

Flashforge Finder:  Two of these PLA printers with removable plates allow us to have a fast turnover to create parts while maintaining accuracy.  We have 2 of these printers to increase our ability to create more models.


Vex is a classic robotics platform that allow students to create robust designs without sacrificing modularity or build time.  Students engage in robotics competitions in-class, such as creating soccer robots and more. 

The SMR robotics inventory includes many advanced products in the Vex line such as the programming computers, FIRST Robotics arena kit and wireless controls.

Vex IQ:

We have the latest offerings from Vex with their new Vex IQ kit that also incorporates visual based programming and a new electronic brain.


Lego is the classic building toy that is used in Grade 9 SMR as an introduction to structures and building.  Using Lego, students will learn about mechanical sketches, gears, motors and more.

Coupled with a customized Arduino interface, Lego can take on a new dimension of engineering prototyping.

JPCI on Twitter