Budget, Bus, Beach, and Vote: Press Play Wraps Up

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Sunday, February 22nd wrapped up the weeklong Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon at the downtown Green Bean Cafe. Four teams, made up of St. Clair College and University of Windsor students, created four different interactive visualizations about Windsor data.

In honour of Open Data Day, we challenged teams to take on open Windsor Data. Our overall winning team, Cornelius and Clara, visualized the distance to bus stops around Windsor and the barriers it creates. Lauren and Akindele, winning Best Piece of Journalism, went around town to challenge Windsorites to understand the budget and imagined a more interactive, clear version. Best Use of Windsor Data went to Zule and Steven, who broke down election statistics from the last municipal election by number and area. And finally, Most Creative Project went to Amanda and hackathon veteran, Meghan for their exploration of accessibly to local tourist attractions by bus or bike.

Best Overall Team:
Cornelius Froese & Clara Benedek
“Transportation in Windsor”

Best Piece of Journalism:
Lauren Hedges & Akindele Faulkner
“Visualizing Windsor’s Annual Budget”

Best Use of Windsor Data:
Steven Espinoza & Zule Li
“Election Web: Windsor Municipal Election 2014″

Most Creative Project:
Meghan O’Donnell & Amanda Sinasac
“Can We Bus it to the Beach?”

Thanks to our judges: Blake Roberts, Don McArthur, Aisling Douglas, and Bob Price.

Press Play was created with support from EPICentre, Open Data Windsor Essex, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and WEtech Alliance.

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Check below for more from today’s event:

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Hackforge is Hiring: IT Outreach Coordinator

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IT Outreach Coordinator
Job Type: Part-time (8 hours per week)

Hackforge’s IT Outreach program works with Windsor-Essex nonprofits to solve their technical issues. The IT Outreach Coordinator would assess these projects, create work orders, and then help a beginner IT worker to complete the project and follow up.

Some examples of specific projects for local organizations: refurbishing computer labs, RFID swipe­card door-­entry systems, website development, social media literacy.

Job description:

  • Search out nonprofits in need of a technological problem that needs solving
  • Assess the potential projects and create work orders
  • Help find workers to complete projects and survey their work
  • Assess the final outcome and create a report
  • Promote the IT Outreach projects through social media

Qualifications:

  • A background (academic or professional) in computer analysis or electronics
  • Experience working independently and taking initiative
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written
  • Customer service experience would be an asset

Please send a cover letter and résumé to info@hackf.org with the subject line “IT Outreach Coordinator” by midnight, February 27th.

 

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Press Play Hackathon Reveal Sunday

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This Sunday, February 22nd, join us for the final reveal of Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon. The event takes place at the downtown Green Bean Cafe (300 Ouellette Ave) from 1-3PM. Student teams are working this week to create interactive visualization about open data from Windsor. This event is free and open to the public.

This event is in celebration of Open Data Day and encourages Windsor students to take a look at the local data available to them. Teams, made up of one coder and one journalist, are taking the data and creating news stories within interactive visualizations. This is Hackforge’s first hackathon with a journalism element.

Teams will be competing to win Best Use of Windsor Data, Most Creative Project, Best Piece of Journalism, and Best Overall Team. Our judges determining the winners will be:

Bob Price – Technical Support Analyst at the City of Windsor
Aisling Douglas – UI/UX Designer & Computer Girls Program Facilitator and Instructor
Donald McArthur – Assistant Managing Editor, Digital at The Windsor Star
Blake Roberts – Program Chair of Digital Journalism at the University of Windsor

Press Play was created by University student Lauren Hedges and Hackforge, with support from EPICentre, Open Data Windsor Essex, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and WEtech Alliance.

 

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Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon Kickoff & Roundtable

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Sunday, February 15th kicked off Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon at the Windsor Public Library. Four student teams were assembled to take on a week-long challenge of creating interactive visualizations based on Windsor data.

The day also included a panel discussion with community experts on the topic of open data and technology in journalism. Our panelists will also be the judges for the hackathon. The round table included:

Bob Price – Technical Support Analyst at the City of Windsor
Aisling Douglas – UI/UX Designer & Computer Girls Program Facilitator and Instructor
Donald McArthur – Assistant Managing Editor, Digital at The Windsor Star
Blake Roberts – Program Chair of Digital Journalism at the University of Windsor
Dylan Kristy – Web Wrangler for the Windsor Star

Moderator: Douglas Sartori: Board President of Windsor Hackforge

We’ll keep you posted for more Press Play news as we continue towards the big reveal day on Sunday, February 22nd.

Press Play was created by University student Lauren Hedges and Hackforge, with support from EPICentre, Open Data Windsor Essex, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and WEtech Alliance.

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Check below for more from today’s hackathon!

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Press Play: Hackforge’s Student Data-Journalism Hackathon

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In celebration of Open Data Day, Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon brings together local post-secondary students around government open data. Starting Sunday, February 15th at Windsor Public Library, teams made up of one journalism student and one computer science student will be given assignments with unique local data sets. They will have one week to create an interactive visualization using Windsor data.

Interactive visualizations bring complex data to life. The reader is able to explore facts and figures in a way which merges technology and design. Digital content is becoming increasingly fundamental to news institutions. Interactive visualizations utilize the potentials and creativity of the online medium. Check below for a few examples.

The hackathon aims to partner students from the University of Windsor and St. Clair College. Students will experience real world deadlines and assignments. Mentors are made up of local professional computer programmers, journalists, and graphic designers. Students will have various opportunities to learn from and network with them.

Press Play is brought to you with support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is organized by University of Windsor Journalism Student, Lauren Hedges and Hackforge.

Registration is free and open to any post-secondary student with an interest in either journalism or computer science.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN.

The Details:

Start date:
Sunday, February 15, 2015
2-5 PM
Fred Israel Room, Windsor Public Library Central Branch (850 Ouellette Ave)
Includes round table discussion from industry professionals on data journalism and the role of open data in Windsor.

  • You have week to complete the interactive visualization.
  • Teams are made up of two post-secondary students: one team member for coding, the other for journalism.
  • If you don’t have a teammate in mind, you will be paired up on February 15th.
  • There will be three assignments to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty.
  • All assignments involve open data about Windsor, Ontario.

Reveal Day:
Sunday, February 22, 2015
1-3PM
Windsor Star Green Bean Cafe (300 Ouellette Ave)

 

Get Inspired: Interactive Visualizations

Interactive 2016 U.S Proposed Budget
Interactive: Global Emissions by the Washington Post
50 Years of Change: LGBT Civil Rights by Rashauna Mead
Behind the Bloodshed: the Untold Story of America’s Mass Killings by USA Today
Out-of-School Children by UNESCO Institute for Statistics

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Introducing Computer Girls: IT Classes for Women

logo-v5Through the support of Ontario Trillium Foundation, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. (WEST) in partnership with Hackforge presents Computer Girls. Computer Girls offers computer training to women and young women in the Windsor & Essex County area. Classes are held at WEST’s offices downtown Windsor (647 Ouellette Avenue Suite 201).

Basic Computer Literacy:
This course is designed for women with very basic computer knowledge. Participants will gain
practical computer knowledge in Microsoft Office, the internet, computer security, etc.

Classes offered:
Computer Basics (Feb. 11: 6-8PM)
The Internet, Cloud Services, and World Wide Web (Feb. 25: 6-8PM)
Word, Spreadsheet, and Presentation Programs (Mar. 11: 6-8PM) (FULL)
Computer Security and Privacy (Mar. 25: 6-8PM)
REGISTER HERE.

Intro to Coding:
This course is designed to provide individuals with practical skills employers are looking for. If you want to
pursue a career in computer science, or if you enjoy working with computers….this program is for you!
Participants will learn about Coding, Web Animation, Photo Editing, etc.

Classes offered:
Introduction to HTML (Feb. 18: 6-8PM) (FULL)
Introduction to CSS (Mar 4: 6-8PM) (FULL)
Introduction to JavaScript (Mar 18: 6-8PM) (FULL)
Intermediate HTML/CSS (Apr 1: 6-8PM) (FULL)

CLASSES ARE NOW FULL FOR CODING.

 

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Hackforge 3D Printing at Remington Park Library

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Saturday, January 17th, Hackforge will be visiting Remington Park Library for an all-ages 3D printing demonstration. From 2-4PM, we invite the public to stop by and view our 3D printer in action and interact with 3D printed objects. Come see how you can bring items from your imagination to life with this exciting new technology.

Remington Park Library is located at 2710 Lillian Ave in South Windsor.

Software Craftsman Guild Back from Vacation

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After a two week vacation, the Software Craftsman Guild is back on Wednesday, January 7th from 6-9PM. Join the weekly group for computer programmers at Hackforge (850 Ouellette Ave). Bring your laptop, hang out with the Hackforge Software Guild and work on whatever programming project you’d like!

Line Between Art and Tech Blurs with Hackforge

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Monday, December 29th, Hackforge hosted Art in Tech / Tech in Art, bringing together various projects and creators. We had an exciting turn out of more than fifty people to the space, including many families.

Learners from all ages were encouraged to try out many of the demonstrations presented, like Nik Steel’s two cymatic rigs using water to make sound visible and Nifty Studio’s immersive Elevator Horror game. Hackforge members brought their projects, like Rob Caruso’s Magic Eye Color Organ and Terry McAlinden’s LED Matrix. From the community, we had artists like Jude Abu Zaineh, Veronica Samek, and Sherry Campeau.

Big thanks to all who presented (full list of artists and projects below). Also thanks to Paul Anderson for assisting with various projects, like 3D printing.

Projects presented:
3D printed artwork by Chelsea Greenwell
Video game concept art by Sean Liska
Cymatics rig (sound made visible) by Nik Steel
LED-ification of model trains by Shane McCarthy
Magic Eye Colour Organ by Rob Caruso
Modular Sequencer Prototype by Aaron Mavrinac and Kero
Plilk: Bioart Bacteria Series by Jude Abu Zaineh
w.a.v.e.s festival by Veronica Samek and Orb-It Project by Sherry Campeau
LED Matrix by Terry McAlinden
Click below for more photos and the CTV clip from the event!

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Art in Tech / Tech in Art Open House

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Monday, December 29th, Hackforge is merging art and technology. From 3PM -5PM, there will be a science-fair style open house featuring various works of art and technology. Come interact with the works and talk to the creators.

Our members will be sharing their projects as well as artists and creators from the community. After will be a roundtable where the artists and creators discuss their process and how they see art in their technology and technology in their art. This free afternoon is open to the public and suitable for all ages. There will be activities for kids.

We are located in the front of the Windsor Public Library Central Branch (850 Ouellette Ave).

Projects to check out:
3D printed artwork by Chelsea Greenwell
Video game concept art by Sean Liska
Cymatics rig (sound made visible) by Nik Steel
LED-ification of model trains by Shane McCarthy
Magic Eye Colour Organ by Rob Caruso
Modular Sequencer Prototype by Aaron Mavrinac and Kero
Plilk: Bioart Bacteria Series by Jude Abu Zaineh
w.a.v.e.s festival by Veronica Samek and Orb-It Project by Sherry Campeau
More to be added!

 Check out the event on Facebook. 

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