Mackenzie says farewell to Class of 2017

by Terry Myers

The Class of 2017 is leaving Mackenzie this year with an amazing gift at its fingertips, a gift unknown to their grandparents “in the same way that future possibilities are unknown to us all now.”

How they will use that gift, and how they will allow it to shape their future, are questions only the grads themselves can answer.

That was the message principal Ivan Saari left with the 47 students celebrating their secondary school graduation from Mackenzie Community School last week.

The gift is the computing power students have all around them, “and for most of you, currently resides in your pocket.”

To illustrate his point, Saari carried onto the stage a platter over three feet in diameter, weighing 20 lbs or more.

Saari told students that 50 years ago, that platter was a single disc in the supercomputer at the Chalk River labs.

The read-write mechanism was larger than a cellphone and the platter could store the equivalent of less than half a downloaded song in today’s technology.

“Your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s computing power used to send humans into outer space – millions,” he said, putting it into context.

“What will you do with this gift, this power, that will have future grads thinking: I hope I can do something with that spirit, that influence, that uplifting, that daring, that creativity, that beauty, that inspiration?”

> for more on this story, pick up a copy of the July 5 North Renfrew Times