Teachers stay the night for Appathon
All-nighters are not a part of a teacher’s job description but for these teachers, it’s all in a day…or night’s work.
On Sept. 30, The Great Canadian Appathon landed at Humber. The school was one of 21 universities and colleges across Canada acting as a hub for the event. The competition put students’ programming skills to the test.
Along with talented game programming students, Humber teachers Umer Noor and Lynda Hausman were there for the challenge. Noor teaches math and physics to game programming students and Hausman teaches programming languages.
There was a lot of prep involved in bringing the appathon to the school. Noor was in contact with event organizers to help coordinate the date as well as getting students to participate. “I really wanted to see what the students could do,” said Noor.
To get the school ready to host the event, they had to organize rooms, security, food and technology, including Internet access and cords, said Hausman.
In 48 hours, competitors had to design and program a game for a mobile device. “They don’t know the topic until three hours before the competition starts,” said Hausman. This year’s topic was sports and submissions included archery games, skydiving games and Humber’s own sumo-wrestling game.
Noor and Hausman along with one other teacher were there to support the students. “It was great to be there for them,” said Noor. Hausman said they split the weekend into shifts between the three of them. “Someone was on-site the entire weekend.” Noor was even tweeting over the weekend to keep everyone up to date.
Noor said they were able to see a different side of the students during the competition. “Usually when you hand out assignments in a lab, you get groans,” he joked. “But every team was really focused.” Hausman agrees. “We were all very, very impressed with how focused they were,” she said. “It was an entertaining weekend.”
The sumo game finished in the top ten and three other Humber entries finished in the top 25. There are plans to do more preparation for next year, said Hausman. “Next time, we might actually pull them together and do a little session on game design to prepare them for it.”
These two dedicated teachers are already looking ahead to the next competition.