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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?

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 real-world challenges. 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

June 2020 Projects

COVID-19 Projects

In June 2020, students collaborated with members of the Hamilton community in order to propose solutions to local challenges related to combatting COVID-19 in the areas of food, mobility, digital technology, and supporting local businesses.

Video Presentations

Check out our students' video presentations through the links below!

Student Testimonials

Here is what our students had to say about their experience during the Change-a-Thon!

“I enjoyed how the program outlined different aspects of problem-solving, whether this was considering the outcomes, sustainability, or stakeholders. It really opened up my vision when I was given insight into what it takes to attempt and solve a complex problem, even with a simple idea or solution at hand.” - Anonymous

“It was challenging to formulate solutions that met the social, economic, and environmental needs of the community and I certainly had to use creativity to come up with a solution. In the future, I will make sure to tackle all problems with the needs of others in mind and will use the problem-solving skills and empathy learned throughout this program to do so.” - Anonymous

“I like that this program gave a lot of structure, honed in on the root of these problems that needed solutions, while also providing a structured method of solving them to the point where they could actually be implemented in the community. I also think a key part of this process was being able to receive real constructive criticism toward our ideas, and being asked a lot of questions to find holes in our solution, to help us think more deeply about what our solution would involve. ” - Anonymous

“The most valuable takeaway I got from this experience is learning how to interact with people from all sorts of backgrounds and come together to collaborate and work on a single idea. I was able to take into consideration very different perspectives and was able to understand the importance in those perspectives in helping improve myself and my own thoughts.” - Anonymous

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!


Social Media 


Past Participants

These students have successfully completed the five-day MacChangers: Change-a-Thon, proposing innovative solutions to community-defined priorities posed by COVID-19. Through multidisciplinary virtual team collaboration, these individuals have demonstrated outstanding skill and understanding in complex problem solving, sustainable design, agile milestone management, and iterative solution testing, while having utilized community informed judgment to scope and swiftly pivot their ideas to better align with stakeholders’ needs.

Jaydev Vemulakon
June Li
Avantika Vaidya
Pavitra Iyer
Marina Manoraj
Amy Cianflone
Madaleine Swierczynski
Matthew Ho
Alina Siddiqui
Sara Rafiei
Adrian Salopek
Brendan Lee
Meggie Dang
Laura Hawkins
Eline El-Awad
Eva Wang
Nanxi Zhou
Anita Chaseendra
Rebecca Lee
Harni Ganesarasa
Jian Roushani
Celine Do
Melissa Vu
Siddarth Manda
Shweta Bhatia
Varun Moturi
Julliana Raja
Anisha Vatti
Arya Babaei
Devika Chhabra
Poonam Saha
Emma Nicholson
Amy Hutchinson
Rhea Saini
Vitaliy Mazur
Amelia Montemarano
Arissa Chen
Lauren Kay
Ravi Kainth
Elaine Ho
Esther Su
Jessica Wang
Rebecca He
Hadeel Abu-Jazar
Hao Yan Li
Nishckria Nataraja Babu
Sara Alshakarji
Jasmine Kurtz
Emma Burdon
Ari Jagan
Anabela Cotovio
Arjun Singh
Justin Knight
Kirpal Singh Bains
Rahul Pathak
Beth Mitchell
Max Adams
Daniel Duan
Iain Slim
Kailin Chu
Maliha Khan Kollins
Manrose Dhaliwal
Miguel Martinez
Sumanya Gulati
Darshana Seeburruth
Ben Nguyen
Cindy Zhang
Semantika Pandey
Richard Park
Faheel Ahmad
Vedashri Pandya
Yifei Wu
Thomas Giovinazzo
Agasthya Rana
Ream Abdullah
Joan Lee
Meera Chopra
Olsen Chan
Russell Leong
Bomim Kim
Raneem Khalil
Caitlyn De Groot
Jackson Wilms
Jaskarn Ghotra
Karanvir Nayyar
Manraj Virk
Mitali Chopra
Alakshiya Arumuganathan
Zahra Akhtar
Hana Sami
Priya Amin
Darren Ranawaka
Julian Safos
Bhavika Nayyar
Borna Sadeghi
Anthony Turco
Calvyn Siong
Samuel Crane
Shira Tankel
Yasmine Elkhouly
Nour Abdallah
Tina Ismail
Amelia Wat
Fernando Lennertz
Ronan Ghandi
Sophie Bierer
Sara Sadat
Affaan Sohail
Jessica Amendola
Vinay Gajjar
Drishti Gulat
Ishan Varma
Hermosa Ye
Zizheng Gao
Hrithik Sharma
Rida Pasha
Meagan Frendo
Vivian Si
Ghayth Aldirbashi
Sara DeBuono
Emily Ranta
Nawaf Alfares
Hani Mohamed
Mann Badami
Syeda Raveen Muzaffar
Harsh Patel
Jay Patel
Khushee Patel
Poojan Modi 
Rayan Mokdad
Tathagata Majumdar
Sarah Cushnie
Kileigh Harrington
Ibreez Asaria
Anika Garg