Dodge, duck and donate for humanities

University students compete in first annual dodgeball tournament to raise money for Halifax Humanities.

University students from across the city competed in the first annual Dodgeball Tournament for Halifax Humanities at the University of King’s College gym on Saturday.

Eight teams signed up for the fun event. Players wore costumes and there were prizes for the first place and best-dressed teams.  The admission fee was $10 admission per person.

Organizers said all of the money was going to the Halifax Humanities Society, a local group that provides free humanities courses to low-income adults.

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Program director Mary Lu Roffey-Redden said Halifax Humanities began 10 years ago. It was created by a small group of King’s professors and several others, and now includes approximately 60 professors from eight universities throughout Nova Scotia. Every year it graduates between 14 to 25 people.

Roffey-Redden said all books and reading materials are supplied free of charge, along with free bus transportation, refreshments and child care. The professors donate their time and teach three or four classes each during the eight-month program.

Participants must be 17 or older. They must be able to read at a high school level and have a low income.

“Every year we have a very diverse group of people join us, eager and ready to learn,” said Roffey-Redden.

The society just introduced another class called Halifax Humanities Seminar for students who have graduated Halifax Humanities 101 and want to continue learning.

‘A lot of fun’

The charity tournament held at King’s was open to people of all ages and skill levels, but the majority of participants included students from Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University and King’s.

Joseph Fish and Alex Rose, two tournament organizers, said about 50 people came out to support the cause. Rose said he believes the tournament raised more than $500, though the final numbers are not in.

Team Shaqtin' A Fool bring home first place. (Photo: Maddie Johnson)
Team Shaqtin’ A Fool bring home first place. (Photo: Maddie Johnson)

“It was a lot of fun and went as well as I could have hoped,” said Rose. “The atmosphere was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”

The final showdown occurred at 4:00 p.m. between teams Shaqtin’ A Fool and the Varsity Badminton Team. Both teams were evenly matched and after a long, back-and-forth game Kevin Cox sniped a perfect shot, taking out the final player on the Varsity Badminton Team and bringing Shaqtin’ A Fool to victory.

Rose and Fish are interested in holding another tournament next year so it becomes an annual event.

CS Day encourages students to consider a degree in computer science

The Dalhousie Computer Science department opens its doors to junior high and high school students for a full-day of workshops and speeches in hopes of encouraging them to consider a degree in computer sciences.

A large group of students from across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick gather at the Goldberg Computer Science Building with one question lingering in each of their minds: do I want to be a computer scientist?

“Anyone who signed up for the GEM Lab, we’re going to the Mona Campbell building, so you’ll be following me,” shouted a volunteer to the group. About a quarter of the group stands up and follows the volunteer, hoping that the lab would get them one step closer to the answer that brought them here today.

Students and their parents trying on Oculus Rifts, a virtual reality headset. (Photo: Teri Boates)
Students and their parents trying on Oculus Rifts, a virtual reality headset. (Photo: Teri Boates)

The Dalhousie Computer Science department held its annual Computer Science Day, or CS Day, on Feb.28. CS Day is a free event open to junior high and high school students who are interested in computer sciences. The event allows students to explore different aspects of a degree in computer science and gives their parents the opportunity to hear from alumni and academic advisers.

“CS Day is kind of our initiative to get in touch with the high school students,” said André Tremblay, a fourth-year computer science student and volunteer.

“We try to get them interested in computer science and show them what we do here as a degree, what we do in the program and see if that’s something that would interest them and give them a chance to ask us some questions.”

Upon registration, students were able to sign up for two out of the four available workshops including:

  • a visit to the GEM Lab which allowed students hands-on experience with interactive computers and devices
  • a session on network security
  • a scavenger hunt engaging students with smartphones and augmented reality
  • a robotics lab where students had the opportunity to learn how to fly a drone.

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“It gives them the opportunity to go into different research labs and see what [computer science students] actually do,” Michael Shepherd, the dean of computer science, said.

“Too many young people have the idea that in computer science you’re just a programmer. You sit in a cubicle and you push code all day and that’s absolutely not the case.”

Approximately 60 students and 25 parents registered for the event. Along with the workshops, attendees were able to hear speeches from alumni, professors and the dean. Attendees were also taken on a campus tour and ate at residence meal halls.

“We look at it as an opportunity to promote the field of computer science and our two degrees: computer science and informatics, and really help parents understand what its all about,” said Allison Kinecade, alumni communications officer in charge of enrollment and recruitment.

“It’s an opportunity to try out a couple sessions and see whether it may match a passion that they have.”

Kinecade said that the robotics session continues to be a favourite among the students, because of the variety of different robots made available each year. CS Day tries to offer at least one session involving human interaction every year, but this year students who registered to visit the GEM Lab were taken to the Mona Campbell Building to see many different demonstrations of human-computer interaction. This year was also the first year to feature a scavenger hunt.

“It’s definitely a growing field and it’s definitely interesting,” said Tremblay.

“The goal is just to encourage people to take a look at it, even if they don’t come to Dalhousie; to make them consider looking into it a bit more, or even consider it to be fun.”

Kings TV News, episode 3

This third episode, hosted by Jesse Laufer and Shelby Rutledge, takes a final tally of Movember, checks out a new controversial cannabis-friendly cafe in town and looks at how pop-up businesses are thriving.

Students from the third-year broadcast class at King’s do all of the reporting and editing for their very own TV news show.

This third episode, hosted by Jesse Laufer and Shelby Rutledge, takes a final tally of Movember, checks out a new controversial cannabis-friendly cafe in town and looks at how pop-up businesses are thriving.

All that and more, this week on Kings TV News.