A team of computer science students built a program to analyze voting habits of Senators for Algonquin's Re/Action showcase. Ikram Mohammed-Navaz, Adam Nguyen, Vicknesh Babu, Corey Chenier, Chris Beck and Marco Gregory won an award for their project. Photo credit: Mike Athey

Student innovation and ingenuity was on display as the college kicked off this year’s Re/Action event on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

In the days leading up to the event, the DARE district was cleared to make room for 87 booths, showcasing 84 student-driven applied research projects.

Several programs participated, which ranged from nursing and graphic design to electrical engineering and advertising.

It took months to put together the research, analysis and presentations.

“It’s a networking event,” said Dave Solomon, the project coordinator of interactive media and design. “Students get to show the final results of their projects.”

Most of the students made partnerships with external businesses or organizations and built their ideas around creating something innovations for their clients to be use.

Fourth-year nursing students Charlotte Kaasalainen, Uyi Erhokpadamwen and Evelyne Langelier worked with the Perley Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre to design a more holistic approach to dealing with palliative care issues.

“There’s a lot of issues of having services in their homes,” said Kaasalainen about some of the challenges for end-of-life-care.

They put together packages that would provide information to clients, another for care providers and one to support family members navigating these difficult decisions.

“It’s all built on an individual approach,” said Erhokpadamwen. “What does quality of life mean to you?”

Another group partnered with Global Affairs Canada to build an analytical program that could study the voting patterns of the Senate. Their program could identify voting habits by both region and political party lines.

“You can target independent senators [with the info],” said Chris Beck of the computer engineering technology, computer science program.

They could also figure out which topics interested senators as well as their positive and negative reactions to various topics.

In the end, they were singled out by the judges that who’d been circling event and awarded Beck’s group one of three awards at an end of day ceremony. The award was presented by Diane McCutcheon, vice president of human resources.

Two other teams were also recognized with this honour.

A team of graphic design students were given an award for their project that dealt with signs signalling the danger of opening car doors without looking. Their bright yellow signs showed an image of a cyclist crashing into an open car door. The idea is that the signs would inform both drivers and cyclists of the danger of not looking for both cyclists and drivers.

The final team of electro-mechanical engineering technician students were given an award for designing an electric scooter called Zip-Zap. The two-wheeled vehicle was powered by 144 batteries and could reach speeds of 60 kilometres per hour.

“But it has the potential for 94 km/h,” said team member, Harley Pataroo.