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MacChangers: Change-a-Thon

Build a more resilient and sustainable Hamilton community this summer.

June 22-26th, 2020, 9 am - 3 pm EST

Are you a McMaster student who is interested in supporting the Hamilton community during COVID-19?

This FREE five-day virtual program is what you're looking for! Work with multidisciplinary teams of students to brainstorm, share insights and create innovative solutions to four real world challenges posed by COVID-19. Students from all faculties are welcome (Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Science, Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts & Science Program)


What you'll gain by joining:

Participants will collaborate from home with a teaching team over the course of the week while learning about human-centered design, community engagement, and other durable skills such as:

  • Complex Problem-Solving
  • Social Perceptiveness 
  • Judgment and Decision-Making
  • Teamwork


Upon completion, students receive a digital credential highlighting their success and skills.

Meet students from all faculties and levels of study and have your work shared with real stakeholders.

What is MacChangers? 

The regular MacChangers program is a year-long co-curricular program (students do not receive course credit) that pairs multidisciplinary teams with community partners to propose innovative solutions to local challenges facing the Hamilton community, as well as the global community. If you would like to learn more about the year-long version, click below!

Learn more 


“I was attracted to MacChangers because it gave me an opportunity to take on a project related to what I wanted to do after graduation." -Jordan Sullivan, Chemical Engineering & Society student

Your Challenges

Through community consultations, we have identified four theme areas in which community members need support:

How might we rebalance our streets to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, mass transit, and cars with social distancing protocols? 

How might we ensure the Hamilton food system is resilient? 

 How might we best support local businesses responding to COVID-19? 

How might we overcome digital technology barriers faced by different communities in Hamilton?

5-Day Breakdown 

The Change-a-thon will take place from June 22-26 from 9:00 - 3:00 pm EST. Check out what we have planned for each day below:



Day 1

FUNdamentals and team building. Learn about the local challenges and become familiarized with the fundamentals of project management, team dynamics, and human-centered design in a community engaged context.



Day 2

Ideation stage. Brainstorm creative and innovative ways of building a solution to the challenges. 



Day 3 

Share insights across other groups working on different challenges. Refine and decide on the best solution for your challenge. 



Day 4

Make ideas as real as possible by considering economic, social, and environmental sustainability.



Day 5 

Presentation pitch. Record a video presentation pitching your proposed solution to our faculty members, prospective McMaster University students, and the broader City of Hamilton community.  

While the program requires full attendance, we do offer limited-flexibility to accommodate participants during these troubled times. Please select "I can tentatively confirm my attendance" and list any small conflicts you may have.

Absolutely! We will be forming randomized teams of four based on interests and experience.

We are happy to accept applications from groups of two or four, and there is a section of the application where you may indicate who and how many of your friends are applying. (Note: your friends must also complete the application form!)

This program will be entirely virtual and can be completed from the comfort of your own home. There are no elements that require you to come to campus. Participants are expected to have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection for the full duration of the event.

Yes! This is a multi-disciplinary program and we encourage students of all faculties to apply. 

Any student with an active McMaster e-mail can apply to this program. 

Thank you for applying! We will be carefully going through applications and sending out offers of acceptance no later than June 15th, 2020. Please keep an eye on your McMaster e-mail inbox, as offers are valid for a limited time.

You do not have to submit a new application! Please e-mail with the name of any friends you want to work with, and be sure to let your friend know that they must also apply!

Please e-mail with any changes you would like to make to your application.

Please e-mail us at and we will get back to you quickly!


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