The Whole Engineer
Experiential learning provides students with hands-on learning opportunities beyond the traditional lecture-style format. We are challenged to re-imagine engineering education as a holistic approach to educating the whole engineer. Through The Pivot, we are transforming the undergraduate experience into a rich experiential learning opportunity. Our students gain five key competencies from The Pivot. They are:
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Discover + Create (DC)
Mentored research or project experiences to enhance technical competence and creativity.
Integrate + Solve (IS)
Understanding and bridging multiple and diverse ways of defining problems and posing solutions.
Business + Innovate (BI)
Understanding gained through experience that viable business models are necessary for the successful implementation of engineering solutions.
Global + Diversity (GD)
Understanding gained through experiences where serious consideration of cultural issues is mandatory to successfully implement engineering solutions.
Citizen + Community (CC)
Deepen social consciousness and motivation to address global and local societal problems because serving people is the vision of engineering.
Experiential Learning – Educating the Whole Engineer
Explore the variety of ways we are educating the whole engineer.
The Pivot is the first program of its kind that will transform McMaster Engineering’s undergraduate experience into a rich experiential learning opportunity to prepare students to be flexible in a rapidly changing world and to meet challenges not yet imagined.
The Engineering Co-op Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to gain valuable engineering work and experiential learning opportunities before they graduate. In 2018/2019, over 2,100 students participated in over 3,200 4-month co-op work terms across the globe.
Clubs, Groups & Teams
There are over 60 engineering clubs, teams, committees, conferences, and competitions students can join to enhance technical and non-technical skills. Getting involved in these experiential learning opportunities enriches student life and contributes to social development and academic success.
MacChangers is a co-curricular experiential program at McMaster University that pairs multidisciplinary teams with community members to propose innovative solutions to local challenges facing the Hamilton community, as well as the global community.
Summer Research Program
McMaster Engineering has the largest undergraduate engineering research program in Canada. In 2018, more than 269 of our undergraduates (7%) were mentored by professors. The NSERC Research Experience Award and Dean’s Excellence Awards give students the opportunity to spend their summers working in labs with professors, researchers and entrepreneurs across campus.
In the fall of 2020, McMaster Engineering introduced a new first-year, experiential learning-focused, project-based design course, called Integrated Cornerstone Design Projects in Engineering (1P13). In this course, students are exposed to a series of design projects that develop both technical and professional skills.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INTEGRATED CORNERSTONE DESIGN PROJECTS IN ENGINEERING COURSE (1P13)
McMaster Engineering is supporting an infrastructure that’s helping to launch Hamilton’s next generation of star entrepreneurs. With the support of key partners, we are seeing the number of student-born start up companies continue to grow. In 2016, one third of the 27 companies housed in The Forge, McMaster University’s start-up incubator, were engineering students.
Grand Challenge Scholars Program
The Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP) is an experiential learning initiative that spans across students’ entire undergraduate careers. The first of its kind in Canada, the GCSP is designed to prepare the next generation of students for addressing the grand challenges facing society.
Experiential Learning – The Pivot
On September 18, 2020, faculty, alumni and students came together to celebrate a special gift from Stephen Elop, a McMaster Engineering alumnus, tech giant and lead donor of The Pivot. Watch the video below to learn how we’re transforming engineering education and learn more about Stephen Elop’s generous gift.
Experiential Learning – Courses
McMaster Engineering students have the opportunity to earn course credits by participating in clubs and teams.
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ENGINEER 3CX3 Learn More About 3XC3
Provides students with the opportunity to earn course credit for valuable experiential learning which occurs while heavily involved in extracurricular clubs and groups.
ENGINEER 3CX3 is a great course being offered to provide students with the opportunity to earn course credit for valuable experiential learning which occurs while heavily involved in extracurricular clubs, teams, and groups. For ENG 3CX3, the student’s role and work must be non-technical in nature, as this course is meant to be the complementary elective version of the technical course for experiential credit offered already (Engineer 4EX3).
What is a non-technical role? There are too many to list here, but could be positions with the McMaster Engineering Society (MES), MacChangers, Engineers Without Borders, Women in Engineering, Engineering Musical, Sport Teams, etc. Basically, these are roles that do not involve the technical side of students’ engineering skillset (design, calculations, simulations, programming, etc.), but focus more on complementary skillsets (teamwork, project management, leadership, communications, etc.)
The course is structured to maximize the value of the skills students learn during extracurriculars, to develop additional relevant skills, and to better articulate the skills students possess going forward. Classroom time will largely be structured in a workshop-style format, relying heavily on peer-to-peer interactions, and will focus on developing skills such as:
- leadership and management,
- Self-directed learning,
- Teamwork and conflict management,
- Budgeting and sponsorship, etc.
Students will choose from different deliverables that align with their goals and their extracurricular duties, allowing students to track progress throughout the year, resulting in a tangible outcome demonstrating the skills that have been developed. This is a graded complementary elective (2 terms, September-April) with 3 credits towards a student’s degree.
To learn more about this course, you can read the course outline below or reach out to the course instructor, Dr. Shelir Ebrahimi.
ENG 3CX3 Course Outline, 2022-2023
ENGINEER 4EX3 Learn More About 4EX3
Students receive formal recognition of experiential learning conducted within the atmosphere of technically-oriented McMaster Engineering teams.
ENGINEER 4EX3 offers course credit for their substantial technical contributions to engineering technical extracurricular teams. As a technical elective, ENGINEER 4EX3 requires that the student’s role and work must be technical in nature.
What is a technical role? If your work is part of a design-build-test cycle, it likely qualifies. Students often are responsible for designing and fabricating components, writing and validating code or conducting analysis to support design decisions. Examples of engineering technical extracurricular teams are Mini Baja, Formula Electric, NEUDOSE, EcoCar, Concrete Toboggan, but this is far from an exhaustive list.
The course is structured to maximize the value of the technical skills students learn during extracurricular experiences, and leverage these experiences to support future career success. Classroom time will largely be structured in a coaching-style format, relying heavily on mentorship interactions with the instructor and teaching assistants.
Students will choose a portfolio format that aligns with their future career goals. In fact, many past students have used their portfolios in co-op interviews even before the course concludes. This is a graded technical elective (2 terms, September-April) with 3 credits towards a student’s degree. The criteria for entry is at least one year of experience with their technical team.
To learn more about this course, you can read the course outline below or reach out to the course instructor, Dr. Elizabeth Hassan.
4EX3 course outline, 2022-2023