What does a physicist need to be able to do and other science secrets

Bel Sainz wants you to know that physicists are normal people, too, with challenges we can all relate to. Bel is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Perimeter Institute. In her job as a quantum researcher she has dealt with some common issues being a woman in a male dominated field, but she says things are changing! At Meetup #4 she will be sharing what women in her field are doing to help each other address bias, and the work she is doing in quantum research. She also answers the question does anyone really understand quantum physics, in this chat we had in advance of the meetup. How did you become a physicist? It was a mistake – I really liked math, but I didn’t want to study math itself. I thought physics would give me an excuse to use math in a fun way. I was right, physics is a fun […]

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Gentrification Study in Downtown Kitchener

Downtown Gentrification Study: Why Urban Change Matters to All of Us

Guest post by Darya Berezhnova It’s hard not to notice the changes occurring in Downtown Kitchener. Whether you’ve lived here long enough to see Kaufman turn from a footwear factory into condominiums, or whether you moved here just in time to witness the LRT construction, there have been dramatic changes taking place in the downtown core for many years. Recently, numerous tech companies have popped up in Downtown Kitchener, some sharing collaborative working spaces, and larger companies getting spaces of their own. At the same time, more people have been moving to the area, trendy coffee shops have appeared, and the streets are no longer empty in the evenings, particularly during public events and festivals. Downtown Kitchener, it seems, is being revitalized. Yet as long as these urban changes have been happening, there have also been ongoing conversations about the social and economic impacts of such changes. Some members of […]

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“Girls can’t be what they can’t see”- a call for female mentors

Dealing with bias and stereotypes can be devastating, but mentors are like “social vaccines,” says psychology professor Nilanjana Dasgupta in a recent issue of The Atlantic, “They inoculate the mind against the stultifying effects of negative stereotypes.” It’s no secret that girls are being bombarded from every angle with messages telling them who they should and should not be. What size, what they should be into, and what they should want for themselves. The girls we work with at The W frequently tell us stories about how they feel out of place in science class, how they aren’t given the same opportunities to participate as boys, and about how they are told that instead of engineering, they should pick a career that “better suits their gender” (true story! I know — horrifying). That’s why, here at The W, YWCA Cambridge’s collective space for women and girls, we offer free programming […]

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Announcement: Hive Waterloo Region is taking a break over the summer

Dear friends, We’re writing today to provide some information about Hive Waterloo Region’s plans for the coming summer months. Over the past year we have experienced a great deal of support from the community, for which we thank you! However, at the same time, we have found ourselves unable to fully meet numerous and varied requests for support, due to lack of resources. As a result, we will (mostly) be taking the summer off to explore how we can best make impact in our community. What does this mean? In tangible terms, here is what you can expect over the summer months: We will continue running our kids’ learn-to-code workshops at Kitchener Public Library locations We will host our planned members’ meetups on July 26 and October 25. (We’d love to have your help with this; please email us at hello@hivewr.ca!) Communications will be reduced – we will be checking messages […]

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Hive WR Members Working for Equal Access

The April member meetup brought out a passionate group of members and guests who got to learn about the challenges of kids with disabilities using technology, how a program for youth with developmental disabilities is making a difference, the future of digital education and a very personal story about overcoming bias from a white, male programmer. You can view the presentations below, they are all short! Following the Lightning Talks we had a passionate discussion about bias in the tech sector and what we might be able to do about it. There were some amazing ideas, lots of frustrations and yet, hope. We’ll share those ideas soon here on our blog. Meantime, get inspired by these amazing stories! Lyndia Stacey, University of Waterloo The future of education and the tension between digital and analog Dorothy McCabe, KidsAbility The challenges faced by kids with disabilities and an ask for new eye […]

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What does an engineer look like?

Change the perception of what an engineer looks like! They aren’t all hard hatted men and women with blueprints. At this year’s Change The Ratio Waterloo Region event we saw how engineers are creators, makers, inventors and artists, too. Grab a marker and a piece of paper, or your computer and favourite drawing program. Do this with your friends, colleagues, or kids. Share your images of what a modern engineer looks like, and how engineering makes a difference in our lives using the tags below or send by email. The impact of engineering is all around us, let’s help kids see what engineers can do and see themselves as the engineers of the future! If you need some inspiration the National Engineering Month Ontario site has inclusive messaging to get you started. We shared them in a handout you can download: NEM activity sheet. Here are some of the pictures made by […]

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Change The Ratio Waterloo Region 2017 Recap

The second annual Change The Ratio Waterloo Region event was inspiring, sometimes maddening, hilarious, and completely energizing. This recap shares some of the highlights. If you missed it, the video is posted at the bottom of this post, and slides can be viewed on Slideshare. Don’t miss the tweet summary, too. The speaker names link to their bios at the end of the post. The Kitchener Public Library was our co-host again this year in the lovely theatre at the Central branch. CEO Mary Chevreau provided greetings and offered us all FREE library cards! She and Bob Egan, Manager, Community Development, emphasized the library’s commitment outlined in the Strategic Plan to inclusion, access and digital literacy. They also referenced membership in Hive Waterloo Region and partnerships to deliver digital literacy, especially in Studio Central plans. Hive Waterloo Region Executive Director Stephanie Rozek set the stage for the speakers: “I believe we […]

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Changing the Ratio in Tech: Let’s Do It Better, Waterloo Region

It’s not news that Silicon Valley, and the tech sector in general, has a problem with so-called “bro culture”. A quick Google search reveals some of the issues, for anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past few years: lack of diversity, the self-congratulatory claims of the field being a “meritocracy”, out-and-out discrimination, and the list goes on… Overwhelmingly most important, in my opinion, is the fact that 95% of white men in Silicon Valley don’t believe diversity is a top problem. I’m not going to waste time detailing the reasons this is important. Many, many people have shouted it from the rooftops, again and again. We need to BELIEVE them. More importantly, we need to step up and do something about it. Waterloo Region is known for its oft-cited barnraising culture, and for lending a hand to those in need. However, we need to start making sure […]

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Why Build a Hive? The Case For Digital Literacy Today

Over the last four years, Hive Waterloo Region has been evolving into what it is today, and what we envision for our future: a thriving network of individuals and organizations committed to increasing digital literacy in our community, and supporting diversity and equity in our tech sector. We’ve been able to get this far thanks to the support of hundreds of people, not only here but around the world. I’m so grateful for what we’ve been able to achieve thus far, and our team is looking forward to building on those successes. Why is our work so important? I’d like to share with you some comments from Hani, a student in Cambridge Ontario, about why it matters to her: “[It] teaches girls about coding so maybe, they can become programmers when they get older. They teach you things like how to make a website and if you’re making a website, how […]

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Get your T-shirts at the Hive Waterloo Region store!

Yes, the store is now open! You can order Hive Waterloo Region t-shirts in Men’s/Unisex, Ladies’ and Youth sizes just in time for the Launch event on November 15th (order by October 31). Or if you were jealous of those HackerGrrlz tees, now you can get one of your very own! Shop now Pictured at right are Lori (left) sporting the Ladies’ Purple Heather HackerGrrlz shirt and Joan (right) wearing the purple Adult/Unisex HackerGrrlz shirt. Both have the “#codelikeagirl” tag on the back. NEW! Hive Waterloo Region T-shirts are available in Heather Grey for adults in both Ladies’ and Men’s Unisex styles and Youth shirts are black. The Hive Waterloo Region logo is on the left sleeve, and the tagline “Explore Create Share” is stacked on the bottom right side. These shirts are being printed locally on soft, comfy cotton. Allow 2-4 weeks for production. Delivery or pickup will be arranged. […]

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