Author Archives: Alice Allwright

easterzone-2020

EasterZone sports camp for kids

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, you may be worrying about how to keep your children active and entertained. With our EasterZone sports camp for children aged 5 to 14, you won’t need to worry. Led by qualified and DBS checked coaches and supported by sports supervisors, our sports camp will allow your children to make friends in a fun environment while introducing them to new sports including football, kwik cricket, tag rugby, hockey, and multi-sports.

Online bookings are now being taken. Spaces can either be booked for individual days or the full four days. The closing date for applications is Friday 20 March 2020.

Prices:

EasterZone 2020 runs from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 April, from 9.00 to 15.00 daily.

University staff / student discount: One day £30, one week (four days) £100

Non University staff / student: One day £35, one week (four days) £120

Late pick-up (per child, per day): £10

Late pick-ups are available from 15.00 to 17.00 nd include staff-led fun games and creative activities. If you have any questions please email sportsenquiries@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 816391.

Millie Knight skiing

Millie Knight wins World Cup gold

Millie Knight is a woman full of ambition. Becoming visually impaired at a young age, she knows no boundaries when it comes to excelling on the slopes.

Just before Christmas, Millie and her ski guide Brett Wild took home seven out of eight Gold medals at a World Cup in Mammoth, California. Feeling on top her game, she went into 2020 ready to ski. Unfortunately, on her way to Gatwick, she was involved in a rear-end collision and suffered severe whiplash. Being who Millie is, she powered through and was still able to make her flight to Switzerland – ready for the World Cup.

Despite her injuries, Millie skied for six days straight even though she was experiencing throbbing headaches and pain in her neck. Due to illness, Millie’s guide wasn’t able to attend her first race so her reserve guide, Katie, came out. They had one day of skiing then raced the next day.

“By the second run, my neck had totally seized up and I was experiencing terrible shooting pains down my arm, but still placed fourth. My neck was extremely sore, so I asked to see a physio the moment I finished racing. As soon as the physio took one look at me, I was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken neck.”

Luckily, Millie was okay and was off to Slovenia, ready for her next challenge – ‘GS’ aka Giant Slalom – the second slowest slope with top speeds of 70km/h. By this point, her guide Brett was well enough to ski with her. Millie received Bronze, Gold and Silver respectively for her races.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Millie’s next move is to take part in the British National Championships in France and after that, she’s off to Norway for the next World Cup and Sweden for the World Cup Finals. We have no doubt Millie will do incredible things and all  this competition is helping Millie achieve the ultimate goal of partaking in the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Kent Sport congratulates Millie for her successes and is proud to have her part of the team. Find out more about the Kent Sport scholarship programme and for more information about Millie, see her profile.

If you’d like to get active at Kent, come and chat with our friendly team or pick up a copy of Active Kent from the Sport Centre.

Alexa Semaphore Lego Mindsorms Challenge winner

Student wins prize in LEGO MINDSTORMS Voice Challenge

James Pearson, a final year Computer Science with a Year in Industry student, won US $150 in Amazon vouchers as part of a global creative coding challenge. James was one of the first 100 entries in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Voice Challenge: Powered by Alexa competition, sponsored by Amazon.

James identified that approximately 15% of people have some trouble hearing (according to a 2012 study of US adults) and Alexa’s audible alarms and timers may not work well for them. He decided to make a device that could help people who are hard of hearing or who temporarily cannot hear alarms because they are gaming using a headset or cooking near a loud extractor fan.

James said: ‘People are generally very good at detecting movement, even out the corner of their eyes so I realised that having some flags indicating when Alexa was doing things could be really helpful if you can’t hear it.’

James built a Mindstorms device with two flags on it, the smaller blue flag indicates when Alexa has heard an instruction, and the red flag indicates when alarms, reminders or timers are ringing on the device. James continued: ‘The flag raises at different angles to show different things. You can test it is working by saying “Alexa”, which moves the small blue flag around. The red flag moves to indicate timers, reminders and alarms’. 

To find out more was this YouTube video. 

Code First for girls

CodeFirst Girls: free weekly coding workshop

Are you a girl interested in learning how to code? Are you a girl ready to join the technological revolution and make a change in the world?

Code First Girls coding workshop returns this term. Students from the School of Computing are running a free weekly coding course exclusively for girls! They will be teaching you how to write in languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery – the basics of making your own website.

At the end of the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion which will be a great valuable addition to any CV.

Email Adriana Samareanu on ams79@kent.ac.uk to find out more.

Industrial action

Updated industrial action webpages and resources

 Updated web pages have been published for staff with information and resources relating to industrial action. The staff web pages have been updated ahead of strike action scheduled to

take place by members of the University and College Union (UCU) between 24 February and 17 March.

The 14 days of planned action are:
24 February – 26 February
2 March – 5 March
9 March – 13 March
16 March – 17 March

The web pages include links to the industrial action pay policy, FAQs, information about the background to the action and what Kent is doing. They also include instructions for staff to report their participation in the action.

Dedicated web pages for students about industrial action have also been updated, providing up-to-date information about the planned strike action and answers to frequently asked questions.

The new strike dates in February follow a previous period of strike action which began on 25 November 2019 and lasted eight continual days, ending on 4 December 2019.  At Kent, the industrial action relates to the continued dispute regarding the national pay award. Some other institutions are also taking action over changes to the USS pension scheme.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and UCU have been in negotiations in an attempt to find a resolution to these national disputes. As part of those discussions, UCEA have made a series of proposals that seek to resolve the pay and conditions dispute following consultation with members including Kent. More information about the proposal can be found in the recent UCEA leaflet.

 

 

Sustainability Development Goals Open Lunch Event

SDG Fortnight – Open Lunch Event

Are you involved with or been inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Teach-In? Interested in finding out more about the SDGs or how Kent is planning to meet Sustainability challenges? Join us for our Sustainable Development Goals Lunch to talk to operational and academic staff from across the University and beyond about sustainability over a fantastic bespoke Sustainable lunch.

There will also be opportunities to tell us what you think the University’s Sustainability priorities for the next 5 years should be as we develop our first University-wide Sustainability Strategy.

When: Tuesday 25 February, 12.00 – 14.00

Where: Keynes Teaching Foyer

The University’s finest chefs have planned a fantastic buffet including a delicious Butternut Squash and Sweet potato curry with all the trimmings and places are limited so please email sustainability@kent.ac.uk to let us know you will be coming.

As well as to raise awareness of Sustainability at Kent, this event has been planned to celebrate those who take part in the SDG Teach-In during the preceding week (17 – 21 February).

The Teach-In is an NUS-coordinated campaign where universities across the UK aim to make links to the SDGs within their taught courses during the week of the 17 – 21 February 2020. For more information about the SDG teach-In please visit our Sustainability Education web pages

 

Sustainability Development Goals logo - Canterbury Society event

SDG Fortnight – Tackling Climate Change in Canterbury event

An open event is being hosted by the Canterbury Society on Wednesday 19 February at 19.30 in St Thomas’ Church hall to explore the roles of government, community and individuals in tackling the climate and ecological emergency.

As part of delivering the University’s civic mission, we work closely with communities and organisations across Kent to ensure collaboration in tackling the issues of climate, ecological breakdown and social inequality within our region.

Representatives from the University participate in the local Sustainable Development Goals Forum, a collective of civil society groups aiming to raise awareness and plan activity around the SDGs and to inform local decision making on these issues. More recently, in response to Canterbury City Council’s declaration of Climate Emergency, the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership (CCAP) was formed to address the climate emergency.

CCAP are organising the event with the Canterbury Society for Wednesday 19 February to explore the possible responses to the climate and ecological emergency.  University students and staff will participate in two panels: The first, Strategic choices to reach zero carbon, will explore the relationship between local government and the community in making decisions about the future of the city and district.  The second panel, Taking direct responsibility for zero carbon, will explore how each of us can participate in movement of change within our communities, businesses and institutions.

The event will introduced by Professor Richard Scase, Emeritus Professor in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and one of the world’s leading business forecasters and chaired be Dr Carl Wright, Trustee of the United Nations Association UK and of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership.

For more information about the event please visit the Canterbury Society website.

The SDG fortnight is being organised by the Sustainability Team. For more information or to view the full programme please visit our webpages or email sustainability@kent.ac.uk. 

Signature Research Themes

Signature Research Themes – Selection Day

Since the summer of 2019,  those who made Expressions of Interest for Signature Research Themes have been developing their ideas and expanding their scope by talking to researchers across the University and beyond. We now need your help on Wednesday 25 March to help select our first Themes.

The eight shortlisted themes will be presenting their vision to all interested colleagues from across the university at  morning event in the Darwin Conference Suite. Following the presentations and questions from the floor, a decision-making panel of internal and external, national and international, experts chaired by Professor Karen Cox will convene and make a decision on the Themes the University will take forward.

The morning starts at 9.00 with coffee, with presentations starting at 9.40 and finishing at 13.00. Each presentation is 10 minutes with 10 minutes for questions. The shortlisted themes presenting on the day are:

  • On Time: Heritage, technologies and futures
  • Food Systems, Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Migration and Movement
  • Artificial Intelligence in the Public Interest
  • Conflict, Security, Rights and Violence
  • DIVERSITY and (Dis)advantages
  • Digital Culture
  • Future Human

Having been through an energetic and exciting process internally over the past year, we are delighted that we have excellent proposals at this stage, and hope you are able to attend on the 25 March and contribute your thoughts on the proposed themes and be involved in their future research.

Tim Hopthrow, Catherine Richardson, Dan Mulvihill and Sarah Slowe

Commercial Showcase - Campus Online image 170220

Enjoy tasty treats at the Commercial Services Showcase

If you haven’t already booked your place now is the perfect time to register to attend the Commercial Services Showcase on Friday 6 March 2020. 

As well as having our teams from Conferences and Events, Accommodation, Catering, Gulbenkian, Kent Sport and KentOne Card for you to talk to, our generous catering teams will be providing some of their popular dishes from across campus for you to try, as well as some new additions to our delivered catering menu.

You can also find out more about our tailored event management service and group facilities, look around campus using our virtual reality headsets, or enter our prize draw to win one of these fantastic prizes:

• Gulbenkian cinema tickets

• One month Premium Plus Kent Sport membership

• 30 minute massage at the Kent Sport Physiotherapy clinic

• One night B&B stay at the University of Kent

• Afternoon tea for six delivered to you on campus

• KentOne Card credit

• Kent Hospitality Catering vouchers

So drop in between 12.00 and 18.00 to enjoy all this, find out how you can take advantage of our services and facilities and how our teams can help you.

It’s free to attend, all we ask is that you register before Tuesday 3 March 2020 to give us an idea of how much food to cook up and goody bags to pack! Book now on the Kent Hospitality website.

Further information on the Commercial Services Showcase is available on the conference webpage or contact the Conference Office at conferences@kent.ac.uk or ext. 8000 for more information.

We look forward to seeing you there!

A stack of pancakes with fruit and maple syrup

Come celebrate Pancake Day at the Spring Global Hangout

This year, the University’s Global Hangouts have been taken over by Kent’s Global Officers re- designed and incorporating some new fun activities along the way. They have proved to be a huge success.

Our Spring Global Hangout will be no exception, with a pancake-themed event. Of course, there will be pancakes with a selection of toppings, along with a themed quiz plus a pancake flipping competition.

When: Tuesday 25 February 16.00 – 18.00

Where: Gulbenkian Café Bar

Spaces are limited. Get your free ticket to attend at Eventbrite.

Global Hangouts are a series of events co-created with students that take place throughout the year. They are themed appropriately with various activities designed to encourage interaction between attendees and the student hosts. Previous themes have been Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Our first Global Hangout of the year was a huge success! I’m glad that I got to be a part of organising such a fun and relaxing event. It was so wonderful to see students from all over our University (and the world) come together to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the many things we have to be thankful for.” – Chiara Batasar, Global Officer 2019/20.

For further details about future events, visit the Global Hangouts website