May 27th, 2024

VR Hackathon event challenges students with real-world problem

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 4, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge College Spatial Technologies Applied Research and Training (START) Centre is hosting the first of its kind Virtual Reality Hackathon this weekend.
The college is one of three institutions across the province taking part in the Hack and Seek: Alberta XR Career Quest, which is also happening this weekend at Bow Valley College and the Northern Institute of Technology.
Mike McCready, industry liaison and research advisor in START, says there are 75 participants from schools across the province, with 30 of them attending the event at Lethbridge College.
 “Throughout the weekend participants will work together on teams to create a virtual reality application that will address a real-world problem,” said McCready.
Participants are told the theme at the start of the event, said McCready, with students at all three venues being asked to create an application to tackle health issues from mental health to rehabilitation.
“We will have nursing faculty here this afternoon to help these students ideate some health related apps,” said McCready.
He said each venue had the same prizes for the teams to share among them, with first place taking home $3,000, second place taking $1,500 and third place $1,000.
“Each venue will pick one rising star. That’s the person that stood out in leadership, collaboration and innovation and they will win a VR headset,” said McCready.
Eduardo Mezzadri, an exchange student from Brazil, took the opportunity to participate in the event and told reporters it was great to be able to be involved.
“We will spend this weekend developing relationships with other students from different places and doing something really good,” said Mezzadri.

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