Are you ready for a one-of-a-kind learning experience that will set you apart as a future engineer? You’ll be the fourth cohort of Engineering 1 students experiencing our 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’ve introduced 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 learn in three ways:
Here is the list of projects:
Project 0: Autonomous vehicle challenge
Programming a robot for motion control
Project 1: Renewable technology challenge
Mechanical design of turbine blades in renewable wind technology
Project 2: Healthcare challenge
Design of a system for sterilizing surgical tools
Project 3: Sustainability challenge
Design of a system for sorting and recycling containers
Project 4: Community challenge
Device design for a working mother with autoimmune conditions
1P13 in the News
1P13 is very much student driven – how the collaboration of learning, developing a prototype, failing and recovering are all completed in an environment where students can be successful together.
Congratulations to our 2023 1P13 winners
1st place: Auditory Spice Rack
2nd place: The Stack ‘n’ Slice!
3rd place: Automated Pill Dispenser
Learn from students about the 1P13 experience.
What was it like working with your team?
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.
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.
Surprisingly very easy
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.
How did you test or build projects?
Modelling and computing
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.
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.
How difficult was it to access your professors and TAs for support?
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.
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).
Designated Office Hours
Gaining access to your professors and TAs is incredibly easy in Eng1P13. Professors’ office hours are clearly laid out, and they are happy to discuss course material after class if you need help. TAs are very present during all of your lectures, labs, and design studios. Many of my TAs are upper-year students who have similar experiences and interests to mine, and they have been a great support when I need advice. It’s true that you will have less direct contact with your professors than you did in high school, and no one’s going to check that you did your homework, but there are many supports available when you need them. Just don’t be afraid to ask!
Favourite moment that took place during this virtual 1P13 experience?
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.
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.
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.
What advice would you pass on to an incoming student about succeeding in this course virtually?
Join group chats
Takes time to adjust
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.
Teach your peers
5 Support Staff, including a Laboratory Technician and Instructional Assistant
10 Instructional Assistant Interns
100 Teaching Assistants
Tutorials (Design Studio) are an opportunity for students to meet regularly with their team as they work on a design project. There are four major design projects throughout the course. Tutorials are 2 hours and faculty mentors and TA’s will be available during your scheduled time.
Labs introduce and reinforce applications in computing, graphic design, materials science, and technical communication. Most labs will require you to complete and submit an assignment. Labs are 2 hours and 50 minutes/week, twice per week.
Lectures covering foundational course content will be scheduled and delivered in-person to students. Lectures will be recorded and available for viewing afterwards.
Students can ask questions in instructor’s office hours, or request appointments via email or Teams. Contact information will be provided to students when the course outline is released later in the summer.
Project showcases will occur at an in-person showcase at the end of the school year.
No, it is a full year course running from September until April that is 13 units. Most courses are 3 units each. These 3 units typically correspond to 3 lecture hours and either a weekly lab or a weekly tutorial. In 1P13, you will have 3 lecture hours, 2 weekly labs and 1 weekly tutorial. And this will take place in both the Fall term and Winter term.
You will work in teams of 4-5 students that are set by the instructional team, and these will change with each design project.
TLDR: it won’t hinder you if you have a Mac, but you’ll have so much more flexibility running Windows
Each major project will range in length from 4 to 6 weeks.