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Integrated Cornerstone Design Projects in Engineering (1P13)

Are you ready for a one-of-a-kind learning experience that will set you apart as a future engineer? This fall, you’ll be the first-ever class in our new first-year, experiential learning-focused design course, called Integrated Cornerstone Design Projects in Engineering.

 

About Integrated Cornerstone Design Projects in Engineering (1P13)

In Fall 2020, we’re introducing a full-year, project-based learning experience where students are exposed to a series of design projects that will develop both technical and professional skills. Using a unique educational approach, students will learn in three ways:

Video: 

1. Introduce Concepts

Three one-hour classes per week to introduce new subjects, reinforce interesting topics and learn about the profession of engineering. 

2. Develop Skills

Two three-hour labs per week to develop technical skills.

3. Apply in Real Life

Two hours per week to work with your group on projects, as well as to build and test prototypes in our virtual design studio, with access to the instructional team.

Projects transition from well-structured to open-ended as the course progresses, with technical skills and subject expertise steadily building in engineering design and graphics, programming, professional engineering practice, and structure and properties of materials.

With a team of Faculty mentors, instructional assistants, lab technicians and teaching assistants on hand to lend support, students will develop projects to be featured in a personal online portfolio that can be incorporated into co-op job applications.

Here are the list of projects: 

Programming a robot for motion control 

Mechanical design of turbine blades in renewable wind technology 

Design of a system for sterilizing surgical tools 

Design of a system for sorting and recycling containers 

Device design for a working mother with autoimmune conditions

1P13 in the News

New first-year engineering program to offer innovative virtual labs and design projects

May 29, 2020

New first-year engineering program to offer innovative virtual labs and design projects

McMaster Engineering’s project-based course for incoming students was designed from the start to succeed in a virtual setting.

4 Highlights from SHAD’s visit with Mac Eng

July 26, 2019

4 Highlights from SHAD’s visit with Mac Eng

Mac Eng hosts a series of workshops and lectures for SHAD student and test drive new first year curriculum.

The Pivot: Transforming engineering education

March 15, 2019

The Pivot: Transforming engineering education

The Pivot is the largest transformation of the student experience ever taken in 61 years of engineering at McMaster.

Microsoft Teams, also referred to as simply Teams, is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the Office 365 subscription that all McMaster students and staff have access to at no additional cost.

Teams will act as the main communications hub for ENGINEER 1P13 lectures, labs, and design studio sessions.

This is a visual reprsentation of how the course is structured on Teams:  

 

1P13 FAQs

Design Studio is an opportunity for students to meet regularly with their team as they work on a design project. There are five major design projects throughout the course.  You will have 2 hours per week of designated time for your Design Studio project work, but you can work with your group in the space 24/7!

Using Microsoft Teams, virtual breakout rooms for each team within a single design studio will be set up where teams can collaborate, during a scheduled time, and connect in real-time to assigned Faculty Mentors and TAs/IAs for guidance and support. These virtual breakout rooms will be available to students outside of the scheduled times as needed to complete the various project objectives. This allows us to recreate the same type of experience that students would have if they were collaborating in a physical space.

Labs will be scheduled and occur in real-time. These recordings will also be made available for viewing after delivery.

  • Labs will be facilitated by Instructional Assistants (IAs), with support provided by a large team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) who will guide you through the application of course content in a virtual format. Access to the software required for these lab exercises will be made available to students at no cost.* 
  • Students will complete lab assignments in the same breakout rooms where they collaborate on their design projects.

* Computer equipment is purchased separately by students. A computer with a Windows 10 operating system with a minimum Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM  is strongly recommended.   

Lectures covering foundational course content will be scheduled and delivered live to students. These recordings will also be made available for viewing after delivery.

Yes! Students will still learn and apply 3D design skills in CAD. They will be able to send their designs to the instructional team for fabrication and evaluation at McMaster.  

  • All the equipment that would normally be used by students (e.g. robotic arms and terrestrial drones) will be virtualized so that students can control realistic 3D renderings right from their home. 
  • This virtual environment is created using the most powerful 3D creation platforms available. 

Students can ask questions virtually in breakout rooms, in the course room, or via 1:1 chat with a member of the instructional team.

Project showcases will occur in a virtual format at various points throughout the year, including live presentations and pre-recorded videos.

Students will create an online portfolio in the form of a website throughout the year to showcase their work to potential employers.  

 

No, it is a full year course running from September until April that is 13 units. Most courses are 3 units each. This course combines 4 courses that were previously offered separately. 

Groups of 4 students will selected randomly. Teams will be different for each project!

You will need to be able to communicate with your group by video, but no specific type of webcam is required.
 

A laptop running Windows 10 is strongly recommended.  Lab will require use of Autodesk Inventor, which runs on Windows 10.  For students with a Mac, students will be able to connect remotely to a virtual machine running Windows, where all the required software will be available to them.  While students can depend on access to these virtual machines during their scheduled lab, access outside lab time will depend on demand.  By having Windows 10, students can access Autodesk Inventor 24/7.

TLDR: it won't hinder you if you have a Mac, but you'll have so much more flexibility running Windows

EMBER will help prepare you for Chem, Math, and Physics, but will also give you a chance to meet professors, TAs, and students. You'll get used to working in a virtual environment, which will help with 1P13.
Python 3.8 is taught to students in 1P13 assuming no prior knowledge of coding. The only prior knowledge we will assume you have is based on your high school required courses - Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, and English. If you are not feeling confident in your math and sciences, EMBER will help with getting you up to speed. It's free and offered virtually. 
 
 
Curriculum components are broken up within the course that spans all year. If you are unsuccessful in a portion of the courses, there is an opportunity to take a summer course for that portion. We encourage you to reach out to your Academic Advisor throughout the year with your questions. 
The first project is meant to be done in the span of a single 2-hr Design Studio.  For the remaining 4 projects, they will range in length from 4 to 6 weeks.

Message from the Dean 

Video: 

A message to applicants from Dean Ishwar K. Puri regarding the fall semester.

But I can say with confidence that McMaster Engineering will be ready for the fall. We are a faculty that is resilient, quick to adapt and ready to meet the challenges ahead.

Hear what students have to say about their experience in 1P13 this past year:

What was it like working with your team virtually?

Collaborating with like-minded individuals

Collaborating with like-minded individuals

It's really helpful to be able to connect with a group of first year students right at the start of the year in the first design project, as it helps you not only start to collaborate with like-minded people, but it also gives you a chance to make friendships with other people in your program. It's also been an amazing way to learn how to work with different types of people, since this is a skill that is needed in the workplace. - Joel 

Surprisingly very easy

Surprisingly very easy

It has been interesting and surprisingly very easy to connect with my team. We have Microsoft Teams where we meet for weekly labs and design studios. We have shared so many laughs, ideas, made many decisions on how to solve real-life problems and times where we worked all through during our design studios to get our milestones done. - Olorunloluwa
Learning from the strengths of your team

Learning from the strengths of your team

Developing a positive team dynamic is easy because you meet with your team for design studio weekly, and you collaborate when completing labs. Furthermore, the groups of students are divided in a way where your schedules are parallel to one another, so you are also taking other courses with your teammates. This provides a great opportunity to learn from the strengths your team members possess to complete your best work even beyond projects. - Kristen 

Making friendships

Making friendships

Group work has really made 1P13 stand out, and the projects that we do make up the chunk of the course. I have had very pleasant experiences with each of my groups, as we have 4 projects in total and the same number of different groups. I feel like I've made some really good friends through 1P13 and that's something I didn't expect to gain online. - Tina 

How difficult was it to access your professors and TAs for support?

Accessible schedule

Accessible schedule

A schedule was made to know the availability of different TAs for graphics, computing or just design project help in general. Also, our profs and TAs are super friendly, encouraging and always putting us in a good mood in their different ways. We could ask our question in chat or sometimes live and have them answered asap. Our profs and TAs also put together review sessions and practice questions for us which were super helpful! - Ayomikun 
Extremely easy

Extremely easy

It is extremely easy to connect with my TAs and Professors via Microsoft teams. The professors, TAs and IAIs, have made so much effort to make sure we succeed in this course by providing accessible resources like lab demos, FAQS  etc. on Avenue to Learn and hosting office hours. There is a virtual 1P13 office where you can meet with the TAs and some professors to ask questions related to the course and any other engineering-related questions. - Olorunloluwa 

Always available!

Always available!

Professors and TA's are always available for help during work sessions and they often pop into our teams of 4 to check in on us. I've had the pleasure to speak virtually with 3 of the assistant professors in the course, and that's saying something considering there's around 300 students design studio (that's what we call tutorials). - Tina

Designated Office Hours

Designated Office Hours

It was very easy to contact our TAs and professors for support during the change to online platforms. I think that the ease of using MS Teams was a key factor that aided in this matter. Especially during online lectures, we were easily able to ask our professors questions in the chat window. There were also designated office hours, which were held on MS Teams as well to ask additional questions. - Fatima
 

How did you test or build projects?

Digital environments

Digital environments

Our projects utilize digital environments which simulate the robotic arms, vehicles and sensors you would have access to in person. There have also been opportunities to do more “hands on” work by making simple prototypes using household objects, and 3D printing of your models which your team can view during your project interview. Despite being online, the process it takes to create an idea, materialize it using your new skill set and troubleshoot errors makes the completion of your final product just as fulfilling as it would be in person. - Kristen
Modelling and computing

Modelling and computing

Project subgroups are split into modelling and computing for each project. This means that for one project you focus all on either the CAD element or the programming aspects of the challenge. I got to design a container that would be picked up by a robot arm to assist in the cleaning of medical tools. My teammate and I modelled lots of different pieces and prototypes until we arrived at the one that we were most excited about; then we got to 3D print the model to see how it functioned in real life. - Erika
Autodesk Inventor and Python

Autodesk Inventor and Python

We have been applying our knowledge of the use of Inventor and Python through the raspberry pi and Q-labs environment into solving real-life issues. We are designing an automated system that accurately categorizes containers of varying materials and transferring them to their correct disposal location for efficient recycling. The modelling and computing sub-teams worked simultaneously to increase the efficiency of waste management which has implications on the state of the environment. - Ayomikun 

Laying out a plan

Laying out a plan

In this course we have to outline what the problem is, find the objectives, and also make sure our designs meet certain constraints. Before building, we have to lay out a plan for what our design will be like to make sure that we know where we are headed in the process. Then, we build according to the plan, solve any problems that come up along the way, and then begin testing. - Joel

Favourite moment that took place during this virtual 1P10 experience?

Supportive environment

Supportive environment

Making a very good friend through the course has helped me through my other courses, as we'd share notes and resources to help each other succeed. There is also a very huge 1P13 discord server that is very active and everyone is always willing to help out - it's created a supportive environment. Having these outlets really makes me feel like I'm not alone in this. - Tina
Confidence builder

Confidence builder

Going into this program I was anxious about speaking to new people and collaborating in groups. After weeks, I finally decided to speak up using my microphone to ask an IAI a question about the lab we were completing in order to help my team. To my surprise my IAI was happy that I decided to speak up and ask my question and commented on how nice it was to have me participate. Knowing that my efforts were being recognized made my day. Not only did his comment help ease my concern with speaking with others, but also reminds me to do my part in facilitating a welcoming and collaborative environment when working with people. - Kristen

Group work!

Group work!

My favourite moment so far was working with my group for the first design project. We all got along great and everyone was also invested in the work, so it didn't feel like anybody was slacking off or just putting the work on other people. - Joel

Team celebrations

Team celebrations

My favorite moment in 1P13 is the first activity we did. The challenge was to program a robot to follow a certain path; the challenge seems easier after solving the other more complex problems that we have done now, but at that point, I had never coded at all. My favorite memory is when the robot finally went around the track, and my team and I celebrated our victory. - Erika

What advice would you pass on to an incoming student about succeeding in this course virtually?

Join group chats

Join group chats

Join group chats and servers! I'm part of a Whatsapp chat, Instagram chat and Discord server all for the same course and I use them all differently. No one, no matter how confident they seem, is a step above the rest but everyone helps each other out to be better. I've found a real community online that I'm not sure would exist in person and for that I am grateful. - Tina
Attend lectures

Attend lectures

Make sure to attend all of the lectures even if they seem irrelevant because they are important to use for the midterm tests. - Erika
 
Don\'t underestimate yourself

Don't underestimate yourself

Don't underestimate yourself! While the course teaches everything about coding, modelling and materials from the ground up, students do enter the program with varying skill sets and experiences which can feel overwhelming. There are plenty of opportunities to improve and learn from others, be it your instructors or teammates. Take part in contributing to the collaborative environment by communicating with others and being open to learn to become the best engineer you can be. - Kristen 

Teach your peers

Teach your peers

My advice to you is to always stay at the top of your class schedule, ask questions, teach your peers the concepts if they don't understand something; that way, you know if you actually understood that topic without having to start worrying about midterms or exams. Also, enjoy every moment of your design studios and labs, do your very best and go with the flow! - Olorunloluwa
 

Faculty Leads

5 Support Staff, including a Laboratory Technician and Instructional Assistant

10 Instructional Assistant Interns

100 Teaching Assistants