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Student News From Canada And Beyond, Issue 5


Calculators may harm math skills

Psychologists at the University of Saskatchewan found that using a calculator during early school years leads to poorer performance in more complex math classes when students reach university.

The researchers compared the math performance and solving strategies of three groups of Canadian university students: Chinese educated in China, Chinese educated in Canada and non-Chinese educated in Canada.

The Chinese students who were educated in China performed far better in complex math classes. Their improved performance was associated with lower calculator use in primary and secondary school.

(Source: CBC News Online)


Winnipeg man wants piercing bylaw

For a lot of teens body piercing is a hip accessory or fashion statement. But some say piercings are also dangerous if done by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Eric Johansen is a Winnipeg tattoo artist and body-piercer. He thinks it’s time for city officials to pass rules on piercing. Johansen says he’s seen young people who have been scarred by piercers and he’s heard horror stories about unsanitary shops.

The chair of Winnipeg’s Protection and Community Services Committee has asked for a report on how body piercing is regulated in other cities.

(Source: CBC Manitoba)


Teen loses fight against swearing in class

An Ontario teen says her fight against swearing was worth it.

Samantha Robinson, 17, went before the Waterloo Region District School Board. She wanted the board to give students the right to refuse, without any penalty, to swear or use racial slurs while reading literature.

The board voted six-to-three against her request, saying it should be dealt with by school officials. Some told her they have bigger issues to deal with.

(Sources: Canadian Press, National Post)


Families sue makers of violent games

The families of some of the victims of the Columbine massacre are suing companies that make violent video games and sex-oriented web sites.

They are asking for five billion dollars (American) from 25 entertainment companies, including Nintendo, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Time Warner, as well as the creators and publishers of the game “Doom.”

During their investigation, police found a videotape of one of the killers with a shotgun on his lap, calling out, “Arlene.” Arlene is a character in Doom.

(Sources: CBC Online News, Associated Press)


New game consoles debut this fall

Nintendo and Microsoft are trying to catch industry-leading Sony, who released their Playstation 2 late last year.

The Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft’s Xbox want to attract as many gamers as possible, but both are taking different approaches.

Nintendo is aiming for the mainstream video game player. They hope to attract their loyal following of gamers that also purchased their N64 console and Game Boy hand-held machine.

Microsoft is targeting hard-core gamers. Microsoft hopes serious video game fans are willing to pay more to get the most advanced technology available.

(Source: Canadian Press) 


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