Barrie Campus hosts high-stakes robot competition this weekend

Published on Friday, Mar. 24, 2017

Members of the Clearview Township-based Cybergnomes team unpack their gear Friday in preparation for the two-day FIRST STEAMWORKS robotics competition event this weekend at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College.
Members of the Clearview Township-based Cybergnomes team unpack their gear Friday in preparation for the two-day FIRST STEAMWORKS robotics competition event this weekend at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College.

Bragging rights and so much more are at stake this weekend as 34 teams of high school students compete at Barrie’s largest robotics competition in the Athletics Centre of Georgian College.

With only 45 days to design, prototype, build, program and test their robots, these teams are ready to compete in the FIRST Robotics FIRST STEAMWORKS games. They will be judged on teamwork, engineering excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, as well as specific tasks their robots are required to accomplish during the competition.

“Georgian is excited to host our first, and Simcoe County’s largest-ever, robotics games and showcase the talents of young inventors from across the province. It’s an excellent opportunity to celebrate the talents and innovative mindset of these young leaders,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “We also encourage competitors and spectators to visit our cutting-edge robotics, electrical and computer labs while at our Barrie Campus this weekend.”

Georgian’s event is one of nine competitions to take place across Ontario this year. The award-winning teams will move on to provincial championships in April at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga to compete for a spot at the FRC World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

Georgian celebrates Research, Innovation and Scholarship Day April 11

Published on Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017

Georgian student sits at computer at last year's inaugural Research, Innovation and Scholarship DayStudent, faculty and staff research-related projects and innovations will be on display at Georgian College’s Research, Innovation and Scholarship Day, taking place at the Barrie Campus on Tuesday, April 11 from 3 to 6:30 p.m.

“Research, innovation and scholarship is an important component of Georgian’s academic environment and our work with industry and community partners. The Research, Innovation and Scholarship Day is a celebration and showcase by faculty, staff, students and partners in various academic disciplines and the broader Georgian community and public,” said Kevin Weaver, Vice President, International, Workforce Development and Partnerships. Continue reading

Georgian Fundraising student marches on Parliament Hill

Published on Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017

Georgian Fundraising student Leah Fearman, 22, took Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard’s seat in the House of Commons during the International Women’s Day March on Parliament Hill, March 8.
Georgian Fundraising student Leah Fearman, 22, took Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard’s seat in the House of Commons during the International Women’s Day March on Parliament Hill, March 8.

Fundraising and Resource Development student Leah Fearman was one of 337 women who participated in an International Women’s Day March on Parliament Hill on March 8.

“It was important to me because women, and people of visible and invisible minorities, are very much under-represented in politics in Canada at all levels,” said Fearman, who identifies as a lesbian and is also hard of hearing. She points out that people with diverse identities bring unique perspectives to discussions that impact policies. Continue reading

Georgian staff and students share hidden talents to raise funds for scholarships

Published on Monday, Mar. 13, 2017

Andrew Nikkanen, a third-year Fine Arts student will be performing in the show for the third time.
Andrew Nikkanen, a third-year Fine Arts student will be performing in the show for the third time.

Over 50 Georgian staff and students will share their hidden talents at the 25th annual Georgian’s Got Talent (or not) Benefit Concert to help raise funds for financially-challenged students. Performances will take place Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24 at the Georgian Theatre.

The benefit concert will feature all sorts of acts: dance, music, and comedy.

“It’s a true variety show – you never know what to expect,” says director Elaine Murray, who has been on the organizing committee for 25 years. “We are extremely excited this year as we’re marking the show’s 25th anniversary, Georgian’s 50th and Canada its 150th.”

The show is hosted by local comedian, and Georgian staffer, Andrea Murray – whose antics are always memorable.

“There’s no telling what Andrea will come up with this year,” says Elaine Murray. “She has graced the stage as everything from Miley Cyrus to a singing cow.”

Proceeds from this year’s show will fund the annual Gord Bastian Memorial Entrance Award, as well as Georgian’s financial aid bursaries.

“To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, we will be featuring a Canadian theme,” says director Elaine Murray. “We will also be celebrating Georgian’s 50th by bringing back a few retired staff members and past performers to present Georgian milestones. This show is going to be very special.”

Tickets are $15 and a dinner/show special is available for $30. Students, seniors and alumni can purchase tickets for $10. Tickets can be purchased at GeorgianCollege.ca/benefit-concert, Bear Essentials Stores at Georgian’s Barrie and Orillia campuses, or at the door.

FIRST Robotics competition to feature two local high school teams

Published on Monday, Mar. 13, 2017

The Cybergnomes robotics team in action.
The Cybergnomes robotics team in action.

Jabberwocky – the name hails from Lewis Carroll’s popular Through the Looking Glass poem about a kid who slays a dragon, and its meaning is not lost on a brand new team of FIRST Robotics competitors based in Springwater Township.

Calling themselves the JavaWockies, this young but mighty team of high school robot enthusiasts have been meeting regularly since September. Working at KTR Machining, they started by building a robot that could move, and then as their confidence grew, working on a robot that could compete in the upcoming FIRST Steamworks game at Georgian College in Barrie, March 25 and 26. They now have support from several local businesses.

“This project has taught our team a lot, from communication skills and teamwork to many engineering and robotics skills,” says Katie-Ann Reevie, an adult team mentor. “Some people think we just do computer stuff, but we had the opportunity to safely use the manual and CNC milling machine, vertical and horizontal band saws, manual lathe, circular saws, soldering irons to name just a few.”

A JavaWockie member works on assembly of a robot.
A JavaWockie member works on assembly of a robot.

This rookie team (#6336) will battle 34 other teams of high school students at Georgian’s inaugural competition at the Barrie Campus.

One of these teams will be the seasoned Cybergnomes (#2013). The gnomes hail from Stayner and are based at J.T.’s Snowmobile Repair Shop. They’re a relatively small team, but now have five years of hard-hitting competition under the respective belts of their current and past members, along with a strong brand, and more than 50 business partners.

We have consistently performed as well as teams from schools and communities more than twice our size, winning many awards,” explains Donna Lawson, one of the adults supporting the team. In 2016, they won the Western Canada Regional, the West Michigan Robotics Invitational, the Quality Award, the Innovation in Control Award, and the Excellence in Engineering Award. They were also semi-finalists on their field at the World Championships.

This year, the Cybergnomes aim to build an ultra-cool robot they hope will lead them to victory in one or more of the competitions they have this year in Barrie, Oshawa and North Bay.

“Our long-term goals are to recruit more members to keep this incredible program running,” says Lawson. “We are definitely hoping that the Barrie event will help to create more interest in our team, as well as the creation of more teams in the area.”

Both the Cybergnomes and the JavaWockies are looking forward to showing off their machines at Georgian’s Barrie Campus in a few short weeks.

“We are so happy that our first competition is here in Barrie (so) our families can come,” say members of the JavaWockies. “It’s going to be a great way to show our sponsors what a great investment we are and maybe get more teams started. Winning at home would be the best.”

Georgian staff and faculty are equally excited to host Barrie’s largest ever robotics competition. “We are so proud to support the next generation of innovators and technologists,” says Lisa Banks, Vice President of External Relations at Georgian College. “And who knows – some of them may be Georgian students some day!”

The action will take place Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26 in Georgian’s Barrie Campus Athletics Centre (J Building) and there is plenty of free parking throughout the weekend. For more information, visit GeorgianCollege.ca.

 

Approximately 100 volunteers will be needed to ensure the competition runs smoothly. Volunteers are needed March 24 to 26, which includes set up day. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit firstroboticscanada.org/main/volunteer.

Marketing student wins VOICES 2017 speech competition

Published on Monday, Mar. 13, 2017

Edwin Addai SarfoEdwin Addai Sarfo, a Georgian Business – Marketing student, wowed judges and claimed the top spot at the sixth annual VOICES competition held March 8 in Toronto. The public speaking competition, hosted by Seneca College, included participants from public relations, corporate communications, marketing and advertising programs at Seneca, Centennial, Humber and Georgian.

Given the theme “World in Reverse,” Addai Sarfo moved the judges with his speech titled White Slaves.

“Winning this competition gave me a lot more courage to push on and move forward with my career and do a lot more public speaking,” says Addai Sarfo. Continue reading

Georgian’s John Daggett named Rugby Canada’s Coach of the Year

Published on Friday, Mar. 10, 2017

 

A man holds up a plaque.Georgian Grizzlies men’s rugby head coach John Daggett was named the 2016 Male Coach of the Year by Rugby Canada as part of its Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday night in Vancouver, BC.

Daggett led the Grizzlies to their first OCAA Championship in 20 years this past November. The team went a perfect 6-0 during the regular season and added two more playoff victories on route to winning gold.

He was named as the OCAA Men’s Rugby Coach of the Year during the championship.

In his five seasons as Georgian’s head coach, Daggett’s teams have improved in each season and have made the playoffs in every year during his tenure. He has guided the team to the OCAA championship game in the last two years, winning silver in 2015 prior to this season’s gold medal win.

Daggett was also named as Rugby Ontario’s 2016 Male Club Coach of the Year back in October after he guided the Barrie RFC to an undefeated 2016 Toronto Rugby Premiership season and promotion to the Rugby Ontario Marshall Championship.

Pioneer Entrance Awards guarantee $4,000 to Lakehead-Georgian students over first two years of study

Published on Friday, Mar. 10, 2017

Students enrolling in two new Lakehead University-Georgian College joint programs are guaranteed at least $4,000 to help fund the first two years of their studies.

The Pioneer Entrance Awards are available to students in the first two years of the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) degree with Electrical Engineering Technology advanced diploma and the Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science – Environmental Sustainability (Specialization in Ecosystem Management) degree with Environmental Technician diploma. Both programs are scheduled to begin in September 2017 at Georgian College’s Barrie Campus.

The Pioneer Entrance Awards are designed to support the first students enrolling in these innovative new programs.

Students entering directly from a Canadian high school who maintain a minimum scholarship average of 80 per cent will receive a $1,500 Pioneer Award, together with a Lakehead University renewable entrance scholarship, which, depending on marks of 80 per cent and higher, could range from $750 to full tuition.

Students entering directly from high school who maintain an average below 80 per cent will receive a $2,000 renewable Pioneer Entrance Award. Mature students, and those transferring from a college or university, will receive a $2,000 renewable Pioneer Entrance Award. All Pioneer Entrance Awards are renewable for one year.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) degree with Electrical Engineering Technology Advanced diploma is central Ontario’s only engineering degree. Upon completion, graduates will receive both a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) degree from Lakehead University and an Electrical Engineering Technology advanced diploma from Georgian College. Offered at Georgian’s Barrie Campus, students can complete both the degree and diploma in four years.

The program provides a solid foundation across all areas of electrical engineering – gaining valuable theoretical knowledge, practical engineering and applied technology skills. Graduates are well equipped for future specialization and a wide range of career opportunities.

The Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science – Environmental Sustainability (Specialization in Ecosystem Management) degree with Environmental Technician diploma provides a theoretical and applied framework that complements the practical skills and scientific knowledge necessary to understand and monitor complex environmental systems.

The specialization in ecosystem management will allow students to select additional topics complementing the degree-diploma including, but not limited to, forest ecology, plant taxonomy, field schools, environmental impact assessment, biogeography and conservation geography, soil science, environmental biomonitoring, geomatics, forest disturbance and recovery, and ecological restoration.

Students will have opportunities to develop advanced lab and field skills that will allow them as graduates to meet and adapt to the growing demands of a career in the environmental sciences. This program is currently pending approval by the Senate of Lakehead University.

Full information about Pioneer Entrance Awards and details about both programs are available at LakeheadGeorgian.ca. To apply, visit the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre at ouac.ca.

Georgian names location for arts programs in downtown Barrie

Published on Thursday, Mar. 09, 2017

Georgian Downtown Barrie concept
Concept drawing of the new downtown Barrie presence for Georgian College.

Georgian College has chosen its preferred location to move several hundred Design and Visual Arts students into Barrie’s downtown core.

The 17,000 square-foot building at 56 Bayfield St., Unit 101, will open in September. (While the property has a Bayfield address, the building actually faces Ross Street.) It will be home to approximately 250 students in all years of Georgian’s Digital Photography and Imaging, Digital Video, Graphic Design and Graphic Design Production programs.

“We’re excited about the possibilities this will bring, and we eagerly anticipate the first day of classes in September,” says Dr. Bill Angelakos, Dean of Technology and Visual Arts. “This new leased downtown location will provide our students greater opportunities for work-integrated and experiential learning and collaboration with experts in Barrie’s vibrant creative community, as well as space to show and sell their work.”

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman agrees.

“I’m excited to see this project moving forward,” Lehman says. “Bringing postsecondary education downtown has been a key piece of our strategy for many years and this will be a boost for downtown businesses. Both the City and Georgian will benefit from this downtown location. Most importantly, it will provide an exciting new facility and a creative environment for Georgian’s talented students.”

The choice of location follows a full review by Georgian. Seven submissions were received in response to an RFP issued in fall 2016. A committee of faculty, administrative staff, engineers and architects toured and assessed four short-listed sites over several months before making this choice.

“Through some exciting renovations, we will really make this space our own,” says Angelakos. “The building will get a much-needed exterior facelift, and work on the interior will create high ceilings, multi-purpose open space with lots of light, as well as classrooms, work areas, offices and storage. Georgian is proud to be involved in a project that will help to invigorate part of Barrie’s downtown core.”

The choice of site is pending final approval from the provincial government and rezoning by the City of Barrie.

 

 

Georgian researcher and Child and Youth Care students collaborate on research and social innovation project

Published on Wednesday, Mar. 08, 2017

A group of people and a black dog on a green leash.
Left to right: Mira Ray, Director of Applied Research, CARI; Dr. Catherine Drea, Vice President, Academic and Student Engagement; Jean Hargreaves, Chair of the Board, Sweet Charity; James, Sweet Charity canine ambassador dog; Dr. Howard Bloom, researcher; Casey Cassidy, Sweet Charity lead trainer.

Georgian College, Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs and Georgian’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation recently formalized a collaborative research agreement.

In the fall of 2016, Sweet Charity received an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant to seed their new program. They leveraged part of the grant with a financial contribution to Georgian College. The purpose of the funding is to collaborate with Georgian researcher Dr. Howard Bloom and Child and Youth Care students to advance evidence-informed outcomes and experiences of its diabetes support and canine ambassador program.

As part of this project, James – recently trained by Sweet Charity as a canine ambassador dog – attends classes once a week with Bloom. The objective of James’ attendance is to reduce anxiety and stress in college students who learn life space counselling skills and ethics and professionalism as part of the Child and Youth Care program.

The collaboration is also a student field placement experience through Georgian’s Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. As part of their placement, a group of students will provide research assistance to Bloom and will advance entrepreneurial skillsets and mindsets to explore potential social enterprises for Sweet Charity to consider as it grows its core business.

The objectives of the research collaboration are to:

  1. Design tools to measure the outcomes of the Sweet Charity Diabetes Support Dog Program
  2. Research, evaluate and report the experiences and outcomes of the program
  3. Present the findings of the research in a written report to the organization’s board of directors
  4. Explore and present a range of possible social innovations/social enterprises for the organization

 

 

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