All posts by fmc64

Orlando – student support

Many of us were saddened to hear about the tragic events that have unfolded following the shootings in Orlando. We have good support available here at UC.  If  you need to talk to someone, or find that your studies are being affected, here is a list of the dedicated support teams here on campus.

Health/ Welfare / Support Services on campus which may be useful:

Get recognised with Co-Curricular Record – says Prof.

DonaldHow does the Co-curricular Record actually work? What does it involve? Check out this example from Media and Communication Associate Professor Donald Matheson.

When I was a student at Otago – a few years ago now – I helped run the student green group and wrote for Critic, the student paper. The things we did, like shaming the city council into recycling by running our own street collections, are among the things I remember most about uni and I’m more likely to be in touch with the people I did the things with than from most of my classes. It also set me on the path to journalism.

UC’s Co-curricular Record (CCR) formally recognises the value of those kinds of activities that take place outside the formal curriculum. That recognition is useful job-wise, giving you something else to show employers alongside your marks. But the big thing about the CCR is that there’s now a whole host of opportunities on campus (and some off campus) opening up for you that are well-organised and rewarding.

An example: at the start of this year Star Media approached the Media and Communication department asking if we could suggest some students to help with social media at the City2Surf run. Because of the CCR scheme, we were able to do something better than sending out some volunteers, which can sometimes be a bit vague and unshaped.

The six students who worked with me and Star Media did a bit of research, planned a mini-Instagram-Facebook-Snapchat campaign and then debriefed after the run. It was a good opportunity to take part in a community event and get a taste of one direction their degree might take them. The CCR also had built into it a chance for students to reflect and work out what they wanted to get out of the experience.

In practical terms, they were asked to write a short paragraph that I then signed off on (so the university could say it was a genuine event and there’d been some specific things achieved by them). This minimal paperwork is there to ensure there are standards so that the CCR is credible.

CCR activities

Take a look at the list of current CCR activities here > More are being developed all the time.

Sign up for the CCR here >

Wacky Racers in Undercroft – Thursday 2 June

The University of Canterbury’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department hosts the annual ‘Wacky Racers’ event this Thursday, 2 June at 12:30pm.

Electrical, mechatronics and computer engineering students in their final year of study will pit their design skills against each other in a race to the finish.

Controlling their model cars with a standard TV remote and a wireless (WiFi or Bluetooth) connection, student engineers can use weapons to try and interfere with opponents’ vehicles. Each model car is equipped with a camera to send images back to a computer.

A huge amount of fun is had by the racers, while key principles from their study are demonstrated for the hordes of spectators who turn out for the ‘Wacky Racers’You can see a video of last year’s event here.

The 2014 edition is also online.

The assignment is about designing embedded systems – a device containing a micro-controller (small computer) plus some sensors and actuators. Real-life examples include circuits inside a cellphone, washing machine, car and most modern appliances.

Main marks for the student assignment come from an inspection of each vehicle, but students also aim to prove how they perform for real. The race is that opportunity.

The race follows a set course featuring various obstacles. Designers are awarded points for the number of laps completed. In the first two rounds, racer’s cars can smash other vehicles out of the way, but weapons are kept in reserve for the final ‘mayhem’ section: a free-for-all in the arena, trying to get points by taking photos of a set of targets placed around the arena while using weapons and/or tactics to prevent other groups getting photos.

The event will be held on Thursday 2 June at 12:30-1:30pm in the Undercroft, Puaka James Hight Building.