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Friday, June 4, 1999

  • UW solar car on display
  • Education minister loses seat
  • Teaching centre getting started
  • Presbyterian leaders meet here
  • And the rest of the news


[Midnight Sun with team]
Members of the Midnight Sun V team at the Sunrayce qualifier in Milford, Michigan, last month

UW solar car on display

Midnight Sun V, built by a team of UW students with the goal of racing 2,000 kilometres across the Appalachians under the power of the sun, will be displayed to an admiring crowd on campus today.

The Midnight Sun Project is described as "a cross disciplinary project at the University of Waterloo that strives to design, build, and race a world class solar car. In the past, Midnight Sun has distinguished itself as the top Canadian Solar Car Team and has won several prestigious Technical Innovation Awards in the process." This year's challenge is Sunrayce 99, which leaves Washington on Sunday, June 20, for the drive to Orlando. Cars built at such institutions as Purdue, Texas A&M, West Point and Yale will be in the race, not to mention Canadian entries from McMaster, British Columbia, McGill, Queen's and Toronto.

"Following our participation in the Sunrayce 99 Qualifier, May 6-9 1999, Midnight Sun will begin Sunrayce 99 in 13th place overall," says team manager Ruth Allen, who describes the way things went last month:

"The long weekend event was one of two Qualifiers held by Sunrayce 99 officials to insure that Sunrayce solar cars are safe and reliable. The event consists of two parts: Scrutineering and Qualifier. Scrutineering refers primarily to static testing of the car. Various systems of the car are inspected for compliance to Sunrayce rules. We sailed through this portion. In fact, MSV was the first car to pass Scrutineering -- the only one finished on Friday.

"Saturday was a miserable, rainy day -- a day we spent helping a rookie team, UBC, to build their car. After the two days of Scrutineering, 13 teams moved on to the Qualifier. Each team is required to drive a minimum of 125 miles at an average speed of 25 mph or better. This portion of the event proved to be more of a challenge for our team. We suffered from both mechanical and electrical failures. Our 'sexy', expensive bearings ceased up and, due to interference from other teams, our radio modems were unable to relay telemetry data back to the strategy group. As a result, we drained our batteries shortly after completing the required miles. These, and other minor mishaps lead to disappointingly early afternoon finish for our team. The afternoon did have at least one humorous occurrence: both drivers managed to drag a pylon around the track, one right after the other! We were awarded with a golden pylon for this feat.

"We finished in 6th position, although with the combined results of both weekend qualifiers, MSV is slated to begin Sunrayce 99 (June 20 to 29) in 13th position. We have our work cut out for us over the next few weeks, although it is all within reason."

Team members invite the campus to check out Midnight Sun V along the ring road in the Needles Hall area starting at 1:00 today.

Education minister loses seat

[Johnson mug shot] Dave Johnson, minister of education in Mike Harris's Progressive Conservative government, was one of three cabinet ministers who lost their seats in yesterday's provincial election -- otherwise a triumph for the Harris Tories.

Johnson (pictured at right), who replaced John Snobelen as education minister in October 1997, was defeated in Don Valley East by Gerry Caplan of the Liberals.

Across Ontario, the Tories took 45 per cent of the popular vote, with the Liberals getting 40 and the New Democrats 13. But that was enough for a majority in the Legislature, as the PCs will have 59 seats, the Liberals 35 and the NDP 9.

Among incumbent PCs who were reelected was Elizabeth Witmer in Kitchener-Waterloo. Witmer's admirers note her hard work and her reputation for putting in a good word at Queen's Park for the University of Waterloo in particular. Her detractors say that as minister of health under Harris, she has presided over damaging cuts to the health care system.

¶ Detailed election results from CBC, Canoe, Yahoo.

Teaching centre getting started

The cast of characters is almost settled for UW's new Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, or LT3, and construction work on its stage will start shortly.

Tom Carey of the teaching resource office, who doubles as director of LT3, said yesterday that library staff have promised to be out of the way by June 11 so work can start on LT3's headquarters on the third floor of the Dana Porter Library. With luck, the "experimental classroom" and office space will both be ready by the beginning of the fall term, he said. "There's at least one faculty member lined up for September, so we'd better be ready!"

The "experimental classroom", with 20 workstations, will double as a training room for the library, he said, but from his point of view, it's a place where faculty can bring their classes to try out new teaching technology.

"We're hoping to build with each faculty some exemplary content which their faculty could reuse," he said. As well, LT3 will encourage the development of "components of a more generic nature" -- software for student conferences and assignment marking, for example -- and "conversations" among faculty members who can trade ideas and build on one another's inventions.

One substantial project, from the engineering faculty, is under way this term, even before LT3 has a physical presence. A professor came looking for help with developing the web-based portion of a course, and Carey's response was enthusiastic: "We'll make you the pilot case!" A graduate teaching assistant is working on the project now. There are also several undergraduates working this term on smaller projects, he added.

The staff of LT3 is mostly borrowed, full-time or part-time, from existing departments at UW. Carey is based in the teaching resource office; Andrea Chappell of information systems and technology will be there; Les Richards of distance education will bring his expertise in developing web-based courses; and it was announced this week that Bill Oldfield of the library's systems department will also join LT3. Still to come is a web designer from the graphics department.

Newspaper ads are appearing today, inviting applications for the one full-time job that will be based directly in LT3: "senior instructional designer/ knowledge manager".

Presbyterian leaders meet here

The 125th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada will open Sunday (June 6) and continue to June 11, with the "commissioners" to the church's top governing body based at the Ron Eydt Village conference centre.

[PCC logo] Working sessions will be held at several places on campus, and most "sederunts" -- Presbyspeak for business sessions -- will meet in the main gym of the Physical Activities Complex. Delegates will leave campus only for Sunday morning services at local churches, and for the first sederunt, Sunday evening at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in downtown Kitchener. At that session the moderator (the church's president for the coming year) will be elected; he is expected to be Art Van Seters, president of the church's Knox College at the University of Toronto.

The Presbyterian Church in Canada is a "reformed" Protestant denomination with a strong Scots element in its background. It was one of Canada's largest churches before 1925, when about two-thirds of the PCC left to join the new United Church of Canada. Seventy-five years later, the PCC has about 1,000 congregations across Canada.

The PCC is beginning a six-year program of emphasizing six priorities that have been phrased so their initials spell out the word FLAMES: Focus on Children, Teens and Young Adults; Laity Equipping; Active Evangelism; Mission: National, International and Justice; Education for Laity and Clergy; Spirituality. The year 1999-2000 will concentrate on the "mission" category, church leaders say.

At this week's General Assembly, events also include daily worship and a Monday evening banquet, both in the PAC main gym.

The General Assembly of the PCC last met at UW in June 1995, when the sederunts were held in the Theatre of the Arts.

And the rest of the news

"The Secret Garden" -- a production by Second Company in cooperation with the UW drama department -- continues tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Theatre of the Arts. (It was on last night too, but I omitted to mention it in yesterday's Bulletin.) A matinee performance will be held this Sunday only, June 6, at 2 p.m.. Based on the children's classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the musical by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon ends its run June 12. Tickets ($16 regular, $12 students/seniors) are available at the door, or can be reserved by phoning 578-1570.

The annual meeting of the Engineering Student Societies Council of Ontario will be held at UW today through Sunday, with about 60 delegates staying in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre.

Wilfrid Laurier University holds its spring convocation today and tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in the Waterloo Recreation Complex. Broadcaster Pamela Wallin and Olympic rower Marnie McBean are the convocation speakers.

The Da Capo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel College, gives a concert Saturday night at 8:00 at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in downtown Kitchener. The 16-member group specializes in music of the 20th century. Tickets are $12, students $8.

A workshop on "Create Your Own Future: The Enterprising Edge", part of the career development seminar series, was to have been held on Tuesday, but was cancelled "due to an emergency on behalf of the speaker", I'm told. It has been rescheduled for Monday at 2:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 1020. The career resource centre in NH can provide more information.

The staff association reports that it has chosen the staff representative to the dean of mathematics nominating committee. And the winner is . . . Rediña Caracaz, who in real life is secretary to the dean of math. The committee will get to work shortly, finding a candidate to succeed interim dean Alan George.

Current needs from the Volunteer Action Centre include leaders for "fun special events" organized by the Arthritis Society; volunteers for this Sunday morning's Manulife Ride for Heart; people to help on the afternoon of June 16 with a golf tournament organized for the Arthritis Society. More information about all these possibilities: 742-8610.

And still more: The bookstore "would like to thank everyone who attended Tuesday's strawberry social and open house". . . . Saturday is a birthday for Judie Lankowski of the information systems and technology department. . . . "June is Maple Month at the UW Computer Store. Pick up your very own Maple 5.1 which does math and more for only $89." . . . The Waterloo Dance Centre has performances in the Humanities Theatre on Saturday night at 7 and Sunday afternoon at 1:30.

CAR


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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