Can robots be good therapists?

Using therapeutic robots to support people’s needs is a rising field of research in healthcare. Designing them for best results, however, is more than an engineering problem according to Paul Bucci, a Computer Science PhD student at UBC. A variety of robots are currently available for assistive care. PARO, a white baby seal robot from…

Better Connected – Girlpower in the age of social media

Social media is being re-defined by younger generations as a tool for positive activism, and the movement inspired mother-daughter team, Tanya and Julia Kyi, to write the children’s book Better Connected (Orca Books Publishers, 2022). “The good things I saw Julia and her friends accomplish on social media sparked the idea for this book,” explains…

Finding a purpose in climate change reform

Climate change is a problem that is both multifaceted and universally impactful to the current and future generations of society. Learning about this ongoing crisis and drawing lines to minimize our community’s carbon footprint is what the Vancouver Public Library and UBC Climate Hub’s workshops are all about. “We believe connection is crucial for bringing…

Brown Girl Guilt

Harpo Mander has always said, “You can’t become what you can’t see.” That’s why when she found herself working at an unfulfilling job, where she wasn’t able to fully express herself, she quit and created a space whereshe could. Now she is the host of Brown Girl Guilt, a multilayered podcast that delves into the…

Making bees matter

Cities are increasingly important refuges for critical pollinators, including bees. May 20 has been designated World Bee Day and home gardeners have their part to play in their survival. According to the Nature Conservancy, Canada has over 800 bee species (450 species in British Columbia alone) from carpenter bees to sweat bees. Climate change, pesticide…

Giving a chance to all young skaters

Skateboarding is becoming the best option for youth with autism to get involved in sports. The fun and inclusive environment fosters community between one kid and another. Blair Durnan, the executive director of Spectrum Skateboard Society, is spearheading this initiative. The organization offers safe and exciting camps for neurodivergent children. “The future of Spectrum Skateboard…

Understanding the impacts of biowearable technology

Biowearable technology, such as smart watches and other interactive devices worn on-body, can offer significant benefits to children–monitoring heart rate, body temperature, and more. But research from Simon Fraser University shows that you might not want to gift these electronics to your young one. Both psychologically and physiologically, e-wearables may offer more harm than good…

Envisioning a feminist city of Surrey

In July 2021, as part of their COVID-19 recovery initiative, the Government of Canada announced 237 projects that will be receiving funding under the $100-million Feminist Response and Recovery Fund. One such project called ‘Moving towards a feminist city of Surrey’ is spearheaded by the City in Colour Cooperative, a multidisciplinary consultancy co-founded by alumni…

New relationship stressor: fidgeting

If seeing someone fidget makes you anxious, then you might have misokinesia (hatred of movements). Sumeet Jaswal and Todd Handy, PhD want to find out why one in three people have such a profound reaction to small, repetitive movements. They are leading an extended University of British Columbia (UBC) study on the topic to find…

Design to better authenticate citizen journalism

Citizen journalism has become more and more prominent in the era of social media, where sometimes news is being disseminated real-time on the spot through eyewitness reports before they even reach mainstream media. And perhaps there is no better phrase than ‘the revolution will be tweeted’ to capture the critical role of citizen journalism in…

Changed behaviour needed for reconciliation

“Canada, by existence, is racist in that it exists because it was able to frame Indigenous peoples as primitive, non-political subjects incapable of owning land,” says Eva Jewell associate professor of Sociology and research director at the Yellowhead Institute, a policy think tank located at ‘X University,’ formerly Ryerson University, in Toronto. “This is used…