Event to mark 10th Undergraduate Research Fair & Art Walk features technology that supports research

undergraduate research fair FEATURED

After meeting online for the last year two years, the May 18 event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Undergraduate Research Fair & Art Walk will provide an opportunity to network in person, and see for the first time, the ways new technology at York U Libraries can help create dynamic research presentations and projects.

Attendees of the event will also hear from past student presenters and faculty on how to take a research idea and transform it into a poster.

Jointly sponsored by York University Libraries (YUL) and the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, the Undergraduate Research Fair & Art Walk honours student researchers from all Faculties and offers an opportunity to share research that has paved the way for positive change.

The newly launched Media Creation Lab (MCL) at Scott Library will feature mini-interactive demonstrations of tools and technology from the lab providing a first-hand look at how to create multimedia for coursework.

One of the highlights will be a 360-degree video creation session on using the lab’s Virtual Reality (VR) technology. This new equipment allows users to create virtual tools for VR and capture 360-degree scenes for rehearsals and performances. The MCL will also have the Oculus Quest on hand, an immersive VR program that allows students to navigate virtual worlds, artworks, academic classrooms and cultural projects.

Love photography? The MCL team will also provide a session for students on how to use the Canon M50 EOS camera to create artwork with different moods using special scenes and creative filters, as well as creating video montages of unique moments, with still images through the Digest Movie feature. Students can watch a demo on the Zoom H4N Pro that can be used to make projects more dynamic by recording podcasts or interviews from anywhere, with high-quality video or record soundscapes.

“The Fair brings undergraduate students together to form a community of early researchers that learn to translate important and impactful research into everyday discussions which help shape outreach of academic research,” said Dana Craig, Student Learning & Academic Success director and co-Chair of the Undergraduate Research Fair and Art Walk. “It’s also a great opportunity to interact with passionate researchers and experts in a friendly, inclusive, and open environment.”

In previous years , the multidisciplinary, experiential education event allowed fair participants to design a poster and present the results of a course research essay or project to the York community in a friendly, cross-curricular environment. Students would apply by filling out an application form, writing an abstract about their project, and providing their graded project or honours thesis. Successful applicants worked with York U libraries to gain skills though YUL’s workshops on designing and presenting a poster session.

The opportunity to present and share research findings in the Fair has kept students excited to take part year after year.

“There is always something that you can gain from participating in the Undergraduate Research Fair & Art Walk, a really incredible and a truly unique experience,” said Raven Lovering, York University alumna and former participant. “There is nothing truly like this Fair, where you can stand in front of so many students and see the incredible work that everyone else is doing outside of your discipline and to really connect with people, whether it is the research librarians or the President of the University, or someone in your class, or someone in a different year than you. There really is that community building, and that sense of connection that comes out of it, all while celebrating your achievements and sharing the research you really worked hard on.”

This year, the event will feature a panel discussion, “Reflecting Back, Looking Forward: A Facilitated Discussion on the 10th Anniversary of the Undergraduate Research Fair at York University Libraries,” which will focus on the lived experiences of the panelists participating in this event. It aims to highlight the learning, achievements and rewards this Fair has generated, while looking forward to potential future directions for the event. Panel participants will include: Kevin Reynolds, a member of Fair Steering Committee from 2012-16 and co-editor-in-chief of the journal associated with the Fair & Art Walk titled Revue YOUR Review, as well as previous Fair or Art Walk award winners Asha Cabaca, Collette Murray and Alex Gage.

“I was inspired to take part in the Undergraduate Research Fair and Art Walk 10th anniversary panel to share my experiences participating in the Art Walk at the 2021 online Fair,” said Cabaca, previous winner (2021) of first prize for the Art Walk Exhibit award. “As an artist, I take a different approach to research and I would like to share my perspective on research and artmaking and how it made me successful in the Art Walk, academics, and beyond.”

Previous participants, including YUL organizers, will be available to provide best practices on what it takes to transform research and present it at the fair from start to finish.

Register and learn more about the Undergraduate Research Fair & Art Walk. Registration is open to all students, staff and faculty members. The event Inspired Minds: Celebrating a Decade of Student Achievements at York’s Undergraduate Research Fair & Art Walk runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.