Experiential Learning Opportunities
- EXPLORE (Interdisciplinary Experience) Courses
- 2019-2020 EXPLORE Offerings
- Interdisciplinary Sciences Field Camp
- EXPLORE (Interdisciplinary Experience) Courses
- 2019-2020 EXPLORE Offerings
- Interdisciplinary Sciences Field Camp
EXPLORE (Interdisciplinary Experience) Courses
Through our pass or fail EXPLORE courses, students gain practical skills and hands-on experiences while earning course credit. The purpose of such courses is to encourage students to take part in a unique learning experience in a small sized setting (roughly 10-20 students) that is outside of their core area of study so that they may develop additional skills and take intellectual risks keeping in mind that a pass or fail assessment will not have an impact on a cumulative GPA.
A one-unit course credit translates to roughly 12 hours of time in the classroom or in the field, although the total time may vary between courses. The shorter timeline for most EXPLORE courses is to allow students to learn about a different topic of study, without the commitment of a semester-long 3-unit course.
• Payment of McMaster course credit fees (i.e. tuition and supplementary fees) for EXPLORE 3IE courses is IN ADDITION to the module fees if applicable.
2019-2020 EXPLORE Offerings
EXPLORE 3IE1: Art and Space (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Dr. David Penner email@example.com
Bio: Dr. David Penner has been an instructor at McMaster University for over ten years, teaching over eighty courses in that time. His teaching continually reflects on the importance of art in a personal and social sense. He is the recipient of the 2019 teaching award for Arts and Science.
This course explores the ways in which the arts are manifested in our physical geography from architecture to sculpture, murals to graffiti, local bookshops and movie theatres. We will be interested in the ways that artistic presentations impress upon the physical spaces of ordinary lives and what education they provide us as citizens of this city and country. Among our considerations will be representational art of indigenous communities and various other ethnic groups.
• Mondays (6-9pm) - Sept 9th, Sept 16th , Sept 23rd , Sept 30th as well as a field trip on a Saturday (TBD during the first class meeting)
EXPLORE 3IE1: Feeding 7.7 billion: How can you make our food system more sustainable? (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Dr. Stephanie Verkoeyen firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Dr. Stephanie Verkoeyen is an Educational Developer at McMaster University. She works to pedagogically support Experiential Education on campus. By integrating her disciplinary expertise with her pedagogical training, she plans to offer an engaging and thought-provoking course experience.
It’s easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed in the face of global crises like food insecurity. The question of how we can feed 9 billion, the expected world population in 2050, has received increasing attention; but what can we do in 2019, in our own community, to improve our food system? In this course, students will be introduced to the interconnected network of practices, processes and places that cover all aspects of food, and engage in a series of activities and discussions with local stakeholders to reflect on ways in which we can work towards making Hamilton’s food system more sustainable.
Combination of lecture time in the evenings on Thursdays and field trips on Saturdays.
• Sept 12 (7-9pm), Sept 14th (10am - 1pm), Sept 19th (7-9pm), Sept 21st (10am - 1pm), Sept 26th (7-9pm)
EXPLORE 3IE1: Millennials, Music & the Mind (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Bre-Anna King email@example.com
Bio: Bre-Anna King received her B.Sc. in Life Sciences at the University of Toronto (U of T) in 2015, double majoring in Exceptionality in Human Learning and Psychology, while minoring in Biology. During her final two years at U of T, she found her passion for academic research in the neuroscience stream. Eventually relocating to Wales, UK, she completed her M.Sc. degree in, Research Methods in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience in 2017. Since arriving at McMaster to pursue her PhD in Neuroscience, she uses interdisciplinary approaches (i.e., musical models) in cognitive neuroscience to investigate how language interacts with executive processes.
This course will explore the ways in which humans listen to music, create music, and how music affects the human brain. The focus will be on topics such as mental health, song lyrics and social campaigns such as, “Bell Let’s Talk”.
Tuesdays (6-8pm) - Sept 24th, October 1st, October 8th, October 22nd.
3 hours of community outreach during the week of October 7th (TBD based on student schedules)
EXPLORE 3IE1: Outbreak Investigation (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Dr. Mackenzie Slifierz firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Dr. Mackenzie Slifierz completed a Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases at the University of Guelph. He currently works as an epidemiologist with Hamilton Public Health Services and has experience supporting several investigations of both infectious disease outbreaks and a non-communicable disease cluster.
This course is an introduction to public health epidemiology and its application for investigating outbreaks of infectious diseases. Students will learn and use concepts from microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and infection control to resolve a simulated outbreak of an infectious disease within the community.
Tuesdays (4: 30 - 6:30pm) Oct 8th, 22nd, 29th & Nov 5th, 12th, 19th
EXPLORE 3IE1: Grant Writing - Integrating Science, Sustainablility and Community (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Dr. Chad Harvey email@example.com
Bio: Dr. Chad Harvey is the instructor for the Life Science component of iSci 1A24. His educational background in the fields of invasion biology, zoology, and entomology certainly come through in his teaching style. As such, Dr. Harvey introduces a new "organism of the day" at the beginning of each lecture.
The ability to research, write and apply for grant funding is a skill that is truly interdisciplinary. Whether an individual is pursuing a career in academics, government, or private industry, proficiency in grant writing is necessary and a highly marketable asset. Students will experience the entire grant writing process, from research of potential funding sources; scripting an appropriate background, purpose, budget and timeline; to writing and submission of the finished grant application. Grants will be sought to support and maintain community outreach initiatives here at McMaster. Examples of these initiatives include the McMaster Teaching & Community Garden (MTCG), McMaster Outdoor Learning Space (MOLS), McMaster Forest, and McMarsh, a reclamation project for Parking Lot M. Other project ideas can be discussed with the Instructor as potential options for grant funding. A weekly meeting time will be determined that works for everyone’s schedule once term starts. This meeting time will be used to discuss various aspects and purposes of writing a grant and to keep tabs on progress throughout the process. Meetings will be informal and collaborative.
Proposed Schedule: September 18th at 10:30AM (Remaining class schedule will be organized during the first meeting)
EXPLORE 3IE1: Graphic Design Fundamentals (Fall 2019)
Bio: Jennifer Belanger is a medical illustrator, and instructor at McMaster. For the past five years, she has co-designed and delivered Biomedical Graphics for the Faculty of Health Science. She holds a master’s in Biomedical Communications and has 10-years’ experience in graphic design, creating materials for Amazon, Microsoft, Parks Canada, UNESCO, and the Vancouver Aquarium.
How does colour help us navigate information? How do you create a brand identity? What’s the secret to creating effective and beautiful posters and icons? This introductory course in graphic design will help answer these questions and more by exploring colour theory, typography, composition, and graphic design principles. Students will use these lessons to critique designs, and create their own works, including logos, icons, resumes, and infographics.
•Thurdays Oct 3rd 6:30 - 9:30pm, Oct 10th 6:30 - 9:30pm, Friday Oct 18th 9:00am - 4:00pm with a one hour break for lunch
EXPLORE 3IE1: The Magic of Light (Winter 2020)
Schedule: Feb 18, 20, Mar 7, 2020 (14:30 - 17:30)
Location: BSB 104
Sat Feb 29, 2020 3 hour visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto: Time TBA
Instructor:Dr. Martin Kiik
Bio: Dr. Martin Kiik has a long background working in industry related to light, including light sources for smart glasses (at North, formerly Thalmic Labs), image sensor integrated circuits (at Teledyne DALSA) and far-ultraviolet spectroscopy. For the past 3 years, Dr. Kiik has also volunteered for STEM outreach activities for grade 5-6 students at Sheppard Public School (Kitchener, Ont.), under a program supported by Engineers of Tomorrow. Originally from Thornhill, Ontario, he has a Ph.D. in experimental atomic, molecular and optical physics, and a B.A.Sc. undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. Dr. Kiik is a licensed Professional Engineer, and is a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Light and the perception of light are major factors in the success of life on earth. However, most of us do not have a good understanding of the physical nature of light. In this course, we will discuss the different ways to understand light as a physical phenomenon, as a scientific tool, and as a means of artistic expression. The aim is to provide students with a new way of understanding how they perceive their surroundings, and to remove some of the mysteries of what we see. A field trip will include a visit to the Art Gallery in Toronto to study how artists use light to communicate to the viewer.
Feb 18th (Tuesday) 2:30 - 5:30, BSB 104
Feb 20th (Thursday) 2:30 - 5:30, BSB 104
Feb 29th (Saturday) Art Gallery Visit in Toronto (Time TBD based on student schedules and during the first day of class)
March 7th (Saturday) 2:30 - 5:30, BSB 104
EXPLORE 3IE1: Let's Get Dicey: Board Game Design and Startup (Winter 2020)
Schedule: March 7, 14, 21, 28 (10:00 am - 1:00 pm)
Location: T13 106
Instructor: Keon Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Keon is pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience. An eclectic, he has created educational tools for a humanitarian agency, participated in hackathons, and directed a prize-winning NSERC video. He's passionate about the environment and teaching, and looks forward to a great class of students.
Discover the fundamentals of board game creation from inception to production. Along the way, attend a board game café for inspiration, prototype pedagogical games in small groups, share them with the community, and launch a Kickstarter campaign. This course is no Trivial Pursuit and while there is always Risk in The Game of Life, aim to carve out a piece of the Monopoly or you may be Sorry!
(Saturdays 10am - 1:00pm) March 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th
Location: GSB 102
EXPLORE 3IE1: Bat Ecology and Human Interactions: Agriculture, Disease, and Conservation (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Lucas Greville email@example.com
Bio: Lucas is entering his final year as a PhD student in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour studying aspects of reproductive physiology and behaviour in big brown bats. He has worked with bats for the past 7 years in a research capacity (McMaster Bat Lab, Toronto Zoo) and has conducted extensive field work with endangered species. He enjoys educating his friends and peers on fun bat facts and the importance of bat conservation, and is excited for great conversations about bats in the winter semester!
(Mondays 6-9pm) Jan 13th, 20th, 27th, Feb 3rd
Location: GSB 102
Bats have served as a symbol of wealth, luck, and prosperity in both ancient and modern human cultures; however, current urbanization in North America has introduced new complexities in bat-human interactions. This course takes a hands-on, multi-faceted approach in discussing the current overlap of bat ecology and human culture through exploring topics such as farming and pest control, the spread and prevention of mammalian disease, and influences on renewable energy. We will discuss recent changes to the Government of Ontario’s Species at Risk Act in relation to the aforementioned topics, culminating in class initiatives towards protecting the bat population in Hamilton.
EXPLORE 3IE1: Egyptian Hieroglyphs (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Dr Sarah Symons firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Dr. Sarah Symons is an Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Science and an associate member of the Departments of History and Physics & Astronomy. She was educated in the UK, gaining a BSc Honours Degree in Mathematics and Astronomy and PhD in History of Astronomy in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Leicester. She began her career as an academic pedagogical project manager in the UK. Since arriving at McMaster, she has been a pedagogical designer and teaching professor in the Honours Integrated Science Program and has also helped to develop the SCIENCE nexus of courses in the Faculty of Science.
This module is an introduction to the script used by ancient Egyptians to decorate temples, tombs, and artefacts. Participants will learn principles of reading and translation via a combination of worksheets, exercises, and object studies. The objects are drawn from museum collections around the world and offer insight not only into the language but also into the culture of ancient Egypt. The module consists of four three-hour evening workshops and some out-of-class study. The module will end with a Saturday visit to the Royal Ontario Museum to view the Egyptian collection and try out newly-acquired reading skills.
(Tuesdays 7-9pm) Feb 25th, March 3rd, 10th, 17th and a field trip at the Museum on Saturday (March 21st). Students must attend the field trip to pass the course.
EXPLORE 3IE1: Graphic Science: Better Stortytelling through Comics (Winter 2020)
How is story used to engage an audience? How do visuals enhance audience understanding? This course begins with the basics of story structure and narrative using examples from film, tv, books, and graphic novels. We then introduce how to use cinematography, design principles, and visual literacy to create audience-specific visual media. At the end of the course, students will write, design, and self-publish a one-page sequential visual story to communicate a science/research topic of their choosing.
Saturdays 10am - 1pm, January 18 ,25, February 8, 15, 2020
Interdisciplinary Sciences Field Camp
SCIENCE 3IS3: Interdisciplinary Sciences Field Camp
An interdisciplinary field camp experience to introduce students to field investigations, equipment and methodologies used by a range of professionals including ecologists, earth and environmental scientists. Most of this course occurs outside the regular academic term, usually within the two weeks following the end of term in April or within the two weeks preceding the start of term in September; details and applications are available in December.