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Robots and Virtual Reality In The Arctic

child at coding workshop in Iqaluit

A child at a Pinnguaq coding workshop in Iqaluit.

Credit: CBC

Visitors entering the building that houses Pinnguaq Makerspace are immediately greeted by small, colorful robots zipping around their feet. The first makerspace in Canada's vast Nunavut territory aims to be a hub for people of all ages to explore science and technology. It opened in Nunavut's capital of Iqaluit, on Baffin Island, on Monday (Sept. 24).

"A makerspace is just a spot where, essentially, you can come and get access to technology and access to experiences that you just wouldn't have casually lying around at home," says Ryan Oliver, the executive director of Pinnguaq, a technology non-profit.

"We're going to have high-end technology—access to robots, access to [virtual reality]—and just make it available to the community so that things can be created," Oliver says.

The space will also host computer science camps, workshops, and other educational events.

Pinnguaq has been working to bring computer science and technology to communities across Nunavut for the past five years, mainly focusing on coding camps. Oliver calls the makerspace "a positive, tech-oriented spot," and hopes it will encourage locals to pursue post-secondary education.

From CBC
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