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IMPACT

The IMPACT Initiative

What We Do

The IMPACT Initiative is an interdisciplinary collaboration that engages undergraduate and graduate students from Engineering, Biology/Science, Occupational Therapy and Medicine, McMaster Alumni, Community Healthcare Partners, and volunteer clients. Since 2011, the IMPACT team has provided collaborative teaching and learning opportunities that encourage faculty, students, healthcare partners to apply their knowledge to invent customized accessibility devices

The IMPACT Initiative involves a learning process whereby students from different academic disciplines come together to understand, appreciate, and address challenges experienced by our aging population and people living with disabilities. IMPACT co-leaders Dr. Robert Fleisig (Engineering), Dr. Lovaye Kajiura (Biology/Science), Dr. Brenda Vrkljan (Occupational Therapy), and Dr. Liz Hassan (Engineering) teach students how to improve the lives of our aging population and that of people with disabilities. The IMPACT Initiative drives student creativity, innovation, and community engagement. The interdisciplinary exchange of ideas successfully creates meaningful learning experiences that lead to positive community change.

 

Video: 

Projects

2017 Showcase Finalists

The top 10 projects from ENG 1P03, Engineering Profession and Practice, are selected to participate in an end of term showcase where judges and our client decide on which one is the best solution to our client's challenge. 

Overall Best Design Award

Overall Best Design Award

Rija Asif, Mahimul Hoque, Matt Klassen, Wenbo Liu, Nafisa Sarowar

Fiona\'s Choice Award

Fiona's Choice Award

Alejandro Aviles Aviles Garcia, Bill Nguyen, Adrian Sochaniwsky, Juan Tallavo, Gordon Zhang

Best Presentation Award

Best Presentation Award

Arthur Carvalho, Yasmine Jolly, Ben Li, Jarvis Wang, Ethan Yao

Partnerships

Partnerships are the heart of the IMPACT project:

  • Student-Student Partners: Engineering students work together in design teams, Science students work together in design review teams
  • Student-Interdisciplinary Mentors: Engineering students get feedback in design reviews from collaborations with interdisciplinary mentors from Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation Science
  • Student-Teaching Assistant: Engineering students work with teaching assistants to improve their designs in weekly tutorials
  • Faculty-Faculty: Our project is a joint initiative between professors in Biology, Engineering and Rehabilitation Science
  • Faculty-Community Partners: Our client and community partners reside in our Greater Hamilton community 

Research

The IMPACT Initiative work has been shared through peer-reviewed pedagogical research publications:

Kajiura, L., Hassan, L., Fleisig, R., & Vrkljan, B. (2017). Implementing Partnerships that have IMPACT. Poster Presentation a peer reviewed poster presentation for the McMaster University MacPherson Institute’s  Teaching & Learning Conference, Innovation Park, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. November, 16th 2017.  

AbstractPoster Implementing Partnerships that have IMPACT

 

 

Dodd, M., Kajiura, L., Fleisig, R., and Vrkljan, B. (2016). Impact Evaluation of a Novel Community-Engaged Interdisciplinary Learning Project. Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Conference: Empowering Learners, Effecting Change. Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. June 21st -24th, 2016. 

Abstract

 

Fleisig, R.V., Kajiura, L., Vrkljan, B., and Dodd, M. (2015).  Cultivating Collaborative University Partnerships: Using the IMPACT (Interdisciplinary, Meaningful/Mentorship, Practice, Applied, Collaborative/Community, Transformative) Project Educational Model of Teaching and Learning. Workshop presented at the MIIETL Research on Teaching & Learning Conference: Cultivating Communities, Innovation Park, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. December 10th 2015. 

Abstract

 

Kajiura, L., Fleisig, R., and Vkljan, B. (2015). Implementing Meaningful Learning Experiences – The IMPACT (Interdisciplinary, Meaningful/Mentorship, Practice, Applied, Collaborative/Community, Transformative) Project. Concurrent Session presented at the Western Conference on Science Education, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. July 7th -10th 2015. 

Abstract 

Fleisig, R.V., Kajiura, L., and Vrkljan, B. (2014). Facilitating Transformative Interdisciplinary Collaborative Projects: The IMPACT (Interdisciplinary, Meaningful, Practice, Applied, Community, Transformative) Project. International Conference on Engineering Education and Research (ICEER), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. August 24th -26th 2014. 

Abstract

 

Kajiura, L., Fleisig, R., Vrkljan, B. (2014). Facilitating Transformative Interdisciplinary Collaborative Projects: The IMPACT (Interdisciplinary, Meaningful, Practice, Applied, Community, Transformative) Project.  Pedagogical Speeding Dating Session. Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference: Transforming our Learning Experiences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. June 18th, 2014.

 Abstract

Media

Connecting hearts and minds

December 12, 2017

Connecting hearts and minds

First year McMaster Engineering students create innovative devices to help woman with cerebral palsy.

McMaster engineering students help make life easier at nursing home

March 25, 2017 / Source: The Globe And Mail

McMaster engineering students help make life easier at nursing home

When engineering students dream about the global problems their skills will solve, designing a better apple slicer is unlikely to make the top of the list.

Engineering with a heart: Students impress by helping wheelchair users do laundry

December 28, 2016 / Source: CBC

Engineering with a heart: Students impress by helping wheelchair users do laundry

1st-year university students create devices for tasks with pipes, wires and ingenious dollar store purchases

A simply ingenious device helps fill Sandi’s gas tank painlessly

January 27, 2014 / Source: The Hamilton Spectator

A simply ingenious device helps fill Sandi’s gas tank painlessly

Sandi Mugford, who has painful rheumatoid arthritis, demonstrates the custom-designed gadget that helps her fill her gas tank more easily

Leaders

Robert Fleisig, Ph.D., P.Eng

Robert Fleisig, Ph.D., P.Eng

Associate Professor,  W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Associate Member, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Homepage

Lovaye Kajiura, Ph.D

Lovaye Kajiura, Ph.D

Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science 

Homepage

Brenda Vrkljan, Ph.D

Brenda Vrkljan, Ph.D

Associate Professor,  School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy, Institute of Applied Health Studies

Homepage

Liz Hassan, Ph.D, P.Eng

Liz Hassan, Ph.D, P.Eng

Assistant Professor, Engineering 1 and Mechanical Engineering

Homepage, Website

Contact Us

To join our upcoming IMPACT Initiatives:

  • Engineering undergraduate students will already be involved with the IMPACT Initiative via their ENGINEER 1P03 class participation
  • Science undergraduate and graduate students can join our IMPACT Team as collaborative design reviewers and mentors. Please contact Dr. Lovaye Kajiura (kajiura@mcmaster.ca) for more details
  • Rehabilitation Sciences graduate students can join us as collaborative design reviewers and peer mentors.  Please contact Dr. Brenda Vrkljan (vrkljan@mcmaster.ca)
  • If you are interested in serving as a client for our Impact Initiative, please contact Dr. Robert Fleisig (robert@mcmaster.ca)