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Monday, March 20, 2006

  • UW lists kids' summer programs
  • Robotics competition this weekend
  • Here's what's new under the sun
Chris Redmond

Snowman Burning welcomes spring

UW lists kids' summer programs

With the schools' March break over, it's the customary time for UW to announce a menu of children's programs that will be offered on campus this summer. Put together by staff here in communications and public affairs, the detailed list is available online. Here's a summary, with the selling points offered by each camp.

Arts Computer Experience (ACE) is a summer day camp where children "will experience hours of fun while learning exciting and interesting aspects of art, computers, drama and music in combination with outdoor activities and swimming." Open to children aged 7-12 by December 2006. Four two-week sessions, July 4 to August 25, 8:30 to 4:30 daily. Cost is $300 to $320 depending on session. Contact: Marsha Wendell, ext. 5939. ace@watarts.uwaterloo.ca, http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/ACE.

[Child in ESQ T-shirt] Engineering Science Quest (ESQ, right) is a member of ACTUA of Canada, winner of the Michael Smith Award for excellence in the promotion of science to young people across Canada. Now in its 16th year, this student-run program explores new horizons in engineering and science, giving children an opportunity to see, touch, invent, design, create, and experiment in eleven to thirteen distinct camps. Three distinct ExXtreme programs focus on the world of computers and technology. Camps have a camper/instructor ratio of seven campers per instructor -- less in the ExXtreme, Primary and Suzuki programs. Open to children entering grades 1-11 in fall 2006. Camps run weekly from July 3 to September 1. Camp cost is $207 per five-day week with some exceptions. Camp hours are 9:00 a.m. too 4:00 p.m. with extended drop-off and pick-up periods. Contact: ext. 5239, info@esq.uwaterloo.ca.

Hildegard Marsden Day Nursery Summer Camp: This program of fun-filled indoor and outdoor activities emphasizes the intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth of young children. Activities include science projects, swimming, large and fine motor activities, songs, co-operative games, field trips. The child-staff ratio is eight to one, with a maximum of 16 weekly campers. Each week offers different trips and activities. Open to children aged 4 to 7. Minimum weekly sessions are offered for July and August; cost is $190 per five-day week, $155 per four-day week. Contact: Stacey Reid, ext. 5437.

Klemmer Farmhouse Co-operative Nursery Summer Program: This fun-filled weekly program involves crafts, water play, music and games combined with field trips and outdoor play programs. Hot lunch and snacks are provided. The child-staff ratio is eight to one. Open to children aged 2 1/2 to 5 years. Hours are 7:30 to 5:30; cost is $145 per five-day week and $135 per four-day week. Contact: Lori Clayfield 885-5181, klemmer@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca.

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp: A 12-day experience, August 13-25 for boys and girls (aged 12-16) who have a love for music and some basic music training. Create lifetime friendships as you participate in choir, instrumental music, private coaching, a musical theatre production, crazy outdoor activities, campfires, field trips, camper planned chapels, concerts by professional artists, and a concert for family and friends. Welcomes campers from many Christian denominations. Campers and counselors are housed in residence rooms. Cost is $595. Contact: Claudia Van Decker, 885-0220 ext. 226.

UW Girls' Volleyball Camp: Highest quality of instruction from Warrior coaching staff and varsity athletes in Ontario's best volleyball facility (the UW Physical Activities Complex). Advanced technical skills and position specific skills will be the focus. Open to female athletes born 1990, 1991 and 1992. Club experience needed. Runs July 4-8; registration fee is $185 (accommodations and meals available at extra charge). Registration form and information online. Contact: Jason Grieve, ext.5692, jegrieve@uwaterloo.ca.

Warrior Hockey Camp: Will provide each participant with the opportunity to develop individual hockey skills in a challenging, fun environment. Each participant will receive over 12 hours of quality on-ice instruction over five days. Committed to a high teacher/student ratio in order to create as many one-on-one coaching situations as possible. Open to boys and girls aged 6-13. Runs August 21-24. Registration fee $175. Contact: Brian Bourque, ext. 2635, bbourque@uwaterloo.ca.

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  • Robotics competition this weekend

    Participation is up from last year as some of Ontario's top high school students converge on UW later this week for the second annual Waterloo Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.

    This year, the 33 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics regional competitions involve almost 30,000 high school students around the world. The Waterloo regional will take place March 23-25 in the Physical Activities Complex. The event will be open to the public throughout the competition.

    At UW, approximately 700 students will compete in 30 teams representing schools in Southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area as well as Michigan, Missouri and West Virginia. The contest involves short games played by remote-controlled robots. The robots are designed and built within six weeks out of a common set of basic parts by a team of 15 to 25 students and a handful of engineer-mentors. The students pilot the robots on the field.

    On Thursday, teams will arrive at UW to uncrate their robots. Practice rounds will take place later that day, with competition scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

    "Through FIRST, kids realize that building a robot can be fun and cool," said Robert Gorbet, professor of electrical and computer engineering, who helped bring the regionals to the Waterloo campus. "It gives them very real role models, from outside the worlds of professional sports and entertainment. It's about opening their eyes to careers in math, engineering, science and technology -- and it works."

    UW is one of two Canadian venues hosting a regional FIRST competition. The other Canadian regional takes place at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, March 30-April 1. The final championship will be held in Atlanta April 27-29.

    The regional competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines and deadlines. Referees oversee the competition and judges present awards to teams for design, technology, sportsmanship and commitment. Top sponsors of the Waterloo competition include Research In Motion, the Ontario government, Toyota, and UW itself.

    Universities, colleges, corporations, businesses and individuals provide $8 million US in scholarships to the student participants. Many of the awards are full four-year tuition scholarships. UW is the only Canadian university with a scholarship: $5,000 for a FIRST student accepted to the mechatronics engineering program.

    Class enrolment appointments for spring term undergraduate classes start today on Quest; open enrolment begins April 3.

    Used book sale 10:00 to 2:00, Renison College Link Lounge; paperbacks 50 cents, hardcovers $2.

    Co-op student of the year award ceremony 2:45, Tatham Centre lobby.

    Master of Forest Conservation program, University of Toronto, information session sponsored by UW Sustainability Project, 4:30, Environmental Studies I courtyard.

    Engineers Without Borders open discussion 7:00, Graduate House.

    Teaching workshop: 'Motivation and Enthusiasm' Tuesday or Friday, 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5158, details and registration online.

    Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Stephen Clarkson, political economy, University of Toronto, "Does North America Exist?" Tuesday 7 p.m., 57 Erb Street West, free tickets e-mail rsvp@cigionline.org.

    'Every Three Children: Responding to the Aids Pandemic in Africa,' benefit concert featuring Carol Ann Weaver, music professor at Conrad Grebel University College, Wednesday 12:30 and 4:30, Grebel chapel.

    Orchestra@UWaterloo concert: "Crossing Borders", with pianist Alan Li, winner of the concerto competition, Thursday 8 p.m, Humanities Theatre, free tickets 888-4908.

    Here's what's new under the sun

    [Face, striped jacket visible] UW police would like a word with the individual seen in the security camera photo at right, after several vending machines in the Davis Centre were broken into during the early hours of March 12 (Sunday a week ago). "I continue to work with Waterloo Regional Police attempting to identify the suspect," writes Sergeant Alan Binns. Anyone with information can reach UW police at 888-4911, the Regionals at 653-7700.

    The UW Sustainability Project, which itself seems to be a source of renewable energy, has another project on the go: a series of "sustainable career nights" that begin this evening. Sessions are from 7 to 9 tonight (with words from UW graduates in geography, systems design engineering, and environment and resource studies and biology) and tomorrow (science, applied health sciences and computer science). Both sessions will be held in the Environmental Studies I courtyard. Another event of the same kind is scheduled for next Monday night, March 27, in the Tatham Centre. "The goal of these evenings," explains Tiffany Tsun of UWSP, "is to present career option ideas to people who wish to pursue a career where sustainability is considered."

    The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group has scheduled its annual general meeting for April 3, and nominations close next Monday for the seven positions on the WPIRG board of directors that will be filled at that meeting. . . . Imprint reported Friday that an agreement by which Wilfrid Laurier University students would be welcome at UW's student-run pubs has fallen apart. . . . Today and tomorrow brings the Yume Project to the Student Life Centre -- an attempt to fold 1,000 paper cranes as a symbolic gesture for peace, and raise funds as a contribution to the Children's Peace Monument. . . .

    The UW Shop reopened the other day following its renovations, and official celebrations are scheduled for tomorrow. A key event: a "30-second shopping spree" for Kristina Owens, winner of a contest held by the Shop in which she was just 28 cents off in her guess of the total value of merchandise displayed in the window. "We invite everyone to come cheer Kristina on," writes Susy Kustra of retail services. "She will get to keep all merchandise that she can carry on her person after 30 seconds through the store." That little drama is scheduled for 12:30 tomorrow. "We will be giving other prizes out to customers randomly through the day," Kustra adds.

    The ins and outs of the rapidly growing field of Health Informatics will be explored at UW's next Health Informatics Bootcamp, to be held April 5-6 in Toronto. The event, organized by the Waterloo Institute for Health informatics Research, is an intense program aimed at physicians, nurses, healthcare information services professionals, representatives of e-health agencies and professionals from private sector companies in the e-health market. "The objective of the program is to make a significant contribution to the army of over 2,000 additional professionals needed in the health system," says Dominic Covvey, director of WIHIR. The first such Bootcamp, held at UW last July, was attended by 80 participants. The 2006 participants will be given access to the 2005 materials online, as well as the new material presented in Toronto.

    Proposals will be accepted for another week -- the original deadline was today -- as organizers put together the 6th international conference of MERLOT, the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, to be held August 8-11 in Ottawa. Kevin Harrigan of UW's Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology is conference chair, and is particularly hoping to get UW faculty members onto the program, talking about their teaching innovations and use of technology. There's more information, of course, online.


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