Enabling educators with a digital platform to increase student engagement.

With a mandate to generate reliable, affordable electricity, BC Hydro has also become a leading sustainable energy company, by producing and delivering electricity in environmentally and socially responsible ways. In support of this mission, Engine Digital has been a long-time partner in creating and evolving the Power Smart for Schools online learning platform, helping BC Hydro bring conservation curriculum into the classroom.

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Supporting the needs of educators.

With little time to find them, and even less budget for materials to make them fun and engaging for students, educators are under a constant struggle to find resources to take into their classrooms. The genesis of the Power Smart for School’s platform was formed out of solving this problem. From easy access for classrooms at all ends of the technology spectrum, to captivating content that’s “Monday morning ready,” teachers are enabled every day with a platform that’s aligned to their teaching style, and curriculum needs.

On the road with a legacy product.

Power Smart for Schools is the latest iteration of a digital product roadmap that spans over 10 years. Using our Service Design framework, we developed a strategy that’s evolved with the growing demand for resource-strapped educators. The success of Power Smart for Schools is founded on a long-term vision, a roadmap to take us there, and a commitment to ongoing innovation in the face of changes to the way students are taught.

A solution crafted by clients, end users, and us.

To build Power Smart for Schools, our Strategy, Design and Technology groups approached all the planning work in a workshop environment. Our solution-specific teams included client partners, their end-user educators, and random educator test subjects that constantly kept our core principle of “Monday Morning Ready” both active and validated.

Content challenges as opportunities.

What resources do teachers want? How can they be delivered in the classroom? How can we align our content with the curriculum teachers need to teach? These were all questions best left to our concept sprint framework. A five-day, collaborative workshop that frames questions as opportunities, and identifies which would be best served by the rapid build and testing of a prototype to solve the biggest unknowns.

A custom web application, built for a specific need.

Power Smart for Schools was built using the Laravel PHP framework, which allowed for the implementation of a modular system of backend admin tools. This means greater control, freedom, and self-sufficiency for our client partners when it comes to the management of content. Every update, and addition to the site can be performed by the people tasked with managing the product, without relying on a developer to do it.

Prioritizing the future state of the platform.

Critical to the success of Power Smart for Schools was a product development framework that allowed us to keep our blue-sky, big vision ideas always in sight, while we prioritized core functionality for initial deployment in the present. This project is 10 years in the making. Our partnership with BC Hydro has big plans for what the next decade might look like in context to the needs of the educators we’re devoted to building it for.

Solving the demand for constant content, with a sprint.

Building Power Smart for Schools was one thing. Keeping it fresh, and constantly updated with "Monday morning ready" content was another. Part of our roadmap included activities to help BC Hydro get ready for the organizational demands the latest iteration of the platform would generate. In order to help BC Hydro act with the publication prowess of a newsroom, we adapted our concept sprint framework to prototype a process instead of a product concept or feature. At the end of this two-day session, new roles were defined, an editorial strategy was crafted, and a curate, create, review, and publish publication process was outlined.

About BC Hydro

BC Hydro is a government-run electric utility company serving 1.8 million customers, and generating over $5 billion in annual revenue for the province. Through its focus on clear customer communication and a shift towards a self-serve model, BC Hydro continues to engage Engine Digital on an extensive list of digital initiatives, and build upon a strong client agency partnership that began in 2008.


  • Digital Business Planning
  • User Research
  • User Experience Planning
  • Web Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • UI Design
  • Front End Development
  • Back End Development