Engineering Mentorship & Bridging Education Resources: August 7th to 25th, 2023
Get a head start on your university career through our flexible, optional pre-University program designed to suit your needs.
EMBER prepares students who are entering their first year of Engineering, the Bachelor of Technology program, Computer Science, and Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (iBioMed) for academic and social success. Mix and match courses and other opportunities to create your own unique, customized EMBER experience. This program is offered at no additional cost to students.
What is Ember?
JULY & AUGUST
Prepare for September through online learning modules in Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Computing designed to help you learn at your own pace. Videos will be available starting in July.
The Avenue to Learn page for Ember is now available! Log into Avenue to Learn through https://avenue.mcmaster.ca/
WEEK OF AUGUST 7th to 18th, 2023
Crash courses and live tutorials in math, chemistry, physics and computing will be offered from August 7th to 18th, 2023. As well, get to know your Fireball Family through a series of information sessions covering topics ranging from academic advising to identity-based clubs and teams.
Learn more on by navigating to the “Courses” tab.
Date: Week of August 21nd, 2023
CONNECT with classmates and professors in-person and get a taste of McMaster’s hands-on approach to education. Unique and customized workshops will be offered for Engineering, iBioMed, Computer Science and Bachelor of Technology students. These will include a range of experiences from hack-a-thons to other projects, giving you the opportunity to make new friends and learn how to work in teams.
Learn more by navigating to the “Connect” tab.
Information Box Group
Mac Eng’s first-year preparatory program prioritizes student wellness
July 5, 2022
To prepare students entering into Level 1 Faculty of Engineering programs for academic success by teaching and reinforcing foundational concepts in Math, Physics, Chemistry and Computing.
To prepare students entering into Level 1 Faculty of Engineering programs for social success by introducing and connecting the students to each other, upper-year students, staff, faculty member, and clubs in engineering. Get to know the #FireballFamily!
A letter from the Dean to incoming students
“This program is designed to ease your worries. It will support you, help you make the transition to university a smooth one and will welcome you a little early to the Fireball Family.”
– Heather Sheardown, Dean, Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University
EMBER – Courses
Learn the foundational concepts of engineering with courses on Math, Physics, and Chemistry. You are encouraged to customize your learning experience. Courses are offered in two formats: real-time and pre-recorded. You can also register for one, two, three or all four courses. Courses will be taken through Avenue to Learn.
Each course will include online modules featuring videos, quizzes and interactive activities & opportunity to interact with upper-year engineering students through live online tutorials.
From Functions to Limits and Derivatives
- Evaluate and solve various types of functions: logarithmic, exponential, polynomial, rational
- Connect equations of functions to graphs
- Evaluate and solve inequalities
- Using functions to solve problems
- Determine and apply trigonometric ratios
- Understand and apply radian measures
- Connect equations to graphs of trigonometric functions
- Solve problems involving trigonometric functions
Limits and Derivatives
- Understand rate of change at a point
- Understand the concept and properties of limits and derivatives
- Connect equations of functions and their derivatives to graphs
- Solve problems using derivatives
Geometry and Vectors
- Represent vectors algebraically and geometrically
- Perform operations with vectors
- Describe lines and planes using linear, scalar, vector, and parametric equations
From Kinematics to Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic Fields
- Understand and solve problems relating to uniform and non-uniform linear motion in one and two dimensions
- Apply concepts related to kinematics to analyze real-life technologies
- Demonstrate an understanding of the forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane
- Solve problems related to forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane
- Understand and apply concepts related to Newton’s laws, net force, acceleration, and mass to solve problems
- Understand the relationship between velocity and unbalanced forces
Energy and Momentum
- Demonstrate an understanding of and solve problems relating to work, energy, momentum, and the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, in one and two dimensions.
Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic Fields
- Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, properties, principles, and laws related to gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields and their interactions with matter
- Solve problems related to gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields
From Ideal Gas Law to Thermochemistry
Ideal Gas Law
- Demonstrate understanding of the laws that explain the behavior of gases
- Investigate and solve problems relating to gas laws and behavior of gases
Acid and Bases
- Understand the Arrenhenius theory of acid and bases
- Understand and solve problems related to degree of ionization, strong and weak acids/bases
- Understand and perform calculations related to buffer solutions
Structure and Properties of Matter
- Investigate the molecular shapes and physical properties of various types of matter
- Demonstrate an understanding of atomic structure and chemical bonding, and how they relate to the physical properties of ionic, molecular, covalent network, and metallic substances.
- Investigate and solve problems related to energy changes and rates of reactions in physics and chemical processes
- Understand concepts relating to chemical systems at equilibrium and variables that cause shifts in equilibrium
- Solve problems related to chemical systems and dynamic equilibrium using the Le Chatelier’s principle, equilibrium constants, pH, and ionization constant of water
- Demonstrate understanding and solve problems related to oxidation-reduction reactions
- Demonstrate understanding and solve problems related to a galvanic cell and electrochemical reactions
- Investigate concepts related to the laws of thermodynamics, enthalpy, entropy and free energy
- Solve problems on heats of reaction and chemical equilibrium in terms of enthalpy, entropy and free energy
From Introduction to Programming to Functions
Introduction to Programming
- Computer Architecture
- Statement-by-statement Execution
- Printing and input
- If statements structure
- Algorithms with if-statements
- Loop control structures
- Algorithms with loops
- Nested control structures
- Nested loops and if-statements
- Creating and using functions
- Parameters, arguments, return values
EMBER – Schedule
The program consists of self-paced learning modules and daily, live, interactive tutorials and crash courses led by upper-year engineering students. The tutorials will further explain concepts, work through problems and reinforce the concepts from the online modules.
Tutorials in math, physics, chemistry and computing will be offered daily during various time slots. During the 30-minute break, there will be presentations from faculty members, current students and our clubs and teams.
EMBER – Fireball Family Events
Fireball Family Events will take place everyday from 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM during the first two weeks of EMBER. These events will introduce you to different resources, clubs and teams in the faculty of Engineering. You will get to meet representatives from the McMaster Engineering Society, ask questions to upper year students, and learn more about academic advising and co-op.
EMBER CONNECT is offered during August 21-25. It gives students in each specific program (Engineering, Computer Science, Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences, and Bachelor of Technology) the chance to participate in workshops and to connect directly with future classmates, professors, and upper-year students. Activities will include a hackathon or designathon, workshops, and social events. The workshops will be directly applicable to each program. Learn more below.
After registering for CONNECT through the EMBER registration portal, a separate form will be sent to students to register for the specific workshops they would like to attend.
EMBER – Student Testimonials
Clarissa, Engineering I
“EMBER was a great way to solidify my knowledge while figuring out how to learn in a new fast paced environment. The LRA’s made going to tutorials something I looked forward to, and they were always willing to answer questions about content, university life, or even just chat. I am so glad that I participated in EMBER, as I feel much more confident going into the start of first year!”
Halima, Engineering I
“I loved being able to receive in-depth learning through the modules, tutorials and practice assessments which allowed me to focus my time on each course based on my comfort level. All of the LRAs were super friendly and I really appreciated the flexibility of being able to attend live-sessions and also re-watching the recorded sessions for further clarity. Most of all, I really loved getting to interact with other incoming students, attending the fireball family events & getting to ask upper-years questions ranging from course material to study tips and advice. This has been a great welcome to the MacEng community and I can’t wait to see what else this program has in store for us!”
Nihal, Computer Science
“EMBER was the perfect build up to what the courses would look like in the first year. With friendly and excellent LRA’s , the EMBER program was able to help us interact and learn different concepts ranging from Computers , Physics , Maths and Chemistry. The support was second to none , and would do it all over again. Well done!!”
“Participating in EMBER was a great way to brush up on old content, as well as check for any learning gaps I had before entering my first year at McMaster in the iBioMed program! It helped me feel a lot more prepared, and I’d definitely recommend it for any incoming first years.”
Information Box Group
Joel, Engineering I
“After having our year cut short, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be prepared for university since my classes didn’t go as in depth after we went online. EMBER helped me feel more prepared entering into my first year, and gave me a nice refresher on content I was rusty on.”
Madelyn, Automation Engineering Technology
“I found EMBER to be a great resource going into my first year. I feel much more confident that I know everything I need to for my classes. The LRAs were all helpful and the live tutorials really brought insight to the information provided in the modules.”
Allison, Engineering I
“I loved being able to interact with my peers and with upper-year students during the live tutorials, talking about everything from academics, to work-life balancing tips. EMBER gave me confidence in my academics, and eased much of the worry I had going into first year. It was incredible getting to know everything that McMaster has to offer through each day’s live presentation. The online modules were comprehensive and easy to follow, and the LRAs were wonderful, friendly, as well as knowledgeable!”
“I loved everything about EMBER, it was everything I needed after I graduated from another country and took a gap year. I was really worried that I wouldn’t know as much as what the other students knew. So much time and effort was put into EMBER, and I will always be grateful for that.”
EMBER – Registration
EMBER – Meet Your Mentors
Information Box Group
Program/Year: Going into my second year of iBioMed
Hometown: Oakville, Ontario
Describe McMaster Engineering in one word: Innovation
What advice would you share to a prospective student: Now is the time to try things out. Don’t shy away from anything, that’s the worst thing you can do! McMaster offers so much in terms of clubs, teams, events, and academics, take advantage of this and experience things you’ve never done or tried before.
How have you immersed yourself in the extra-curricular life and what has been your favourite aspect of being involved? I am an iBioMed ambassador. You might have seen me at Mac’s fall preview giving presentations throughout the day on what my program is and what to expect. I also recently became an eng rep, so I look forward to seeing all of you during welcome week! My favourite aspect of being involved is all the new people you meet. When your burnt out, in midterm season, and things of that sort, it feels like your life is stagnant. Getting involved allows you to try new things, meet people you never would have crossed paths with otherwise, and gives you a break from school.
What’s something special and fun we should know about you? I’m the biggest Weeknd fan! I’ve also lived in Dubai and Germany before coming here to Canada 10 years ago.
Program/Year: Mechatronics Engineering (Co-op)/4th year
Hometown: North York
Describe McMaster Engineering in one word: Effervescent
What advice would you share to a prospective student: While you might not be excited for that 8:30am math lecture, going to bed on time the night before will keep the Red Bulls away. There will be some stressful times in first year but you won’t be alone. Mac has one of the best support systems so use it to your advantage – everyone is here to help.
How have you immersed yourself in the extra-curricular life and what has been your favorite aspect being involved? My favorite aspect of being involved would be the breadth of individuals I got to meet while being a part of McMaster’s Dragon Boat Club. While it is important to interact with peers in your program, it is just as much so to meet others outside of it. Extracurriculars will challenge you as a group and expose you to new opportunities and perspectives.
What’s something special and fun we should know about you? Picked up figure skating as a hobby recently. Let’s see where my whims take me…
Program/Year: Civil Engineering Level 3
Describe McMaster Engineering in one word: Dynamic
What advice would you share to a prospective student: Don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates, and upperclassmen! You are never alone at McMaster!
How have you immersed yourself in the extra-curricular life and what has been your favourite aspect being involved? I have been involved in the McMaster Seismic Design Team! It is a fun way to meet new people in my program and learn more skills outside the classroom!
What’s something special and fun we should know about you? I’m a big animal lover! I have 4 dogs and 2 cats!
Program/Year: Computer Science 1st year
Describe McMaster Engineering in one word: Immersing
What advice would I share to a prospective student: Though 1st year can be a tough transition into an unfamiliar environment, make some time to enjoy the uniqueness of university life. 4-5 years can go by really quick.
How have you immersed yourself in the extra-curricular life and what has been your favourite aspect being involved? I have participated in different club workshops and events like hackathons, designathons and guest presentations. The ease of making friends that have similar interests amazes me and sprites even more excitement for future events to come.
What’s something special and fun we should know about you? I always love tinkering with keyboards, where the main one I use is built from scratch just using market switches and a programmable microcontroller with some 3D printing fun for the keycaps and body. I vibe to all sorts of music with rap, r&b, and indie being my top genres.
Program/Year: Mechanical Engineering Level III
Hometown: Oakville, ON
Describe McMaster Engineering in one word: Welcoming!
What advice would you share to a prospective student? Having a good school-life balance is very important, take time for school but also for yourself, your hobbies, and your friends.
How have you immersed yourself in the extra-curricular life and what has been your favorite aspect of being involved? Throughout the school year I take part in various intramural sports and this year I am an Engineering Welcome Week Representative. The McMaster community is so kind and accepting; it has been so fun to meet new people and learn more about the school.
What’s something special and fun we should know about you? I am a big crafter; I love to cross-stitch and I have my own Etsy shop! I also have a passion for history and am working towards a minor in Classics.
Program/Year: Engineering I (going into second year)
Describe McMaster Engineering in one word: Community
What advice would you share to a prospective student? Ensure that you take time for yourself and get involved with the McMaster community, I know it is something that everyone hears a lot but trust me it is so easy to overlook it when a lot of work begins to pile up.
How have you immersed yourself in the extra-curricular life and what has been your favorite aspect being involved? During my first year of engineering, I was able to get involved with a lot of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) events and it is through these events that I met many of my current friends. I also participated in the Nexus Energy Competition through which I met some amazing people and was able to form critical discussions as well as connections that helped me grow as a whole.
What’s something special and fun we should know about you? I enjoy going on jogs or walks during sunrise.
EMBER – Avenue to Learn and Microsoft Teams
Get familiar with the platforms you will be using with this helpful how-to video.
EMBER – Contact & FAQs
Registration opens in May and closes in July.
Does EMBER introduce new information or is it mostly reviewing and reinforcing what is taught in high school?
EMBER is focused on helping students get caught up to speed for the required courses in Physics, Math, and Chemistry. No new information beyond the high school curriculum will be taught. Also this year, EMBER has a new Computing course that introduces the basics of programming. It assumes no previous programming knowledge and is meant to give students confidence as they enter their first year where computing will be introduced.
There are four courses to choose from in EMBER (Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Computing). Each course consists of asynchronous modules and live tutorials. The asynchronous content varies in duration between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for each module. These are pre-recorded modules that students can do on their own time throughout the summer. The live tutorial sessions, occurring between August 7th to August 18th, are each approximately 50 minutes in length.
Connect week will have in-person workshops with a livestream option.
Yes, students can choose to register for one, two, three, or all four courses.
For EMBER courses, do the modules all run on the same day? (as an example would math be a specific day/time?)
During the real-time tutorial sessions, the EMBER courses run every day at the listed times provided during registration. If you are registering for more than one course, be sure to choose different time slots for each course to build your schedule for the two weeks.
I am working in the summer and I'm not sure if I can make it to the live tutorials. Can I still register for EMBER?
Yes! Even if you are unable to attend any of the live tutorials, you can still register for EMBER and sign up for any time slot for each course for you to get access to the course’s recorded sessions. You can choose to watch the recorded sessions at your earliest convenience.
If you have signed up for a time you can no longer attend, make sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can assign you to another time slot that suits your schedule. Moreover, if you need to attend a different time for a specific day because of scheduling issues, we are happy to accommodate, just send us an email!