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McMaster Intersession

INSPIRE 1A03

INSPIRE 1A03 will be comprised of one (1) core class component and three (3) modules.

The ‘core class’ allow for a centralized learning opportunity for all INSPIRE 1A03 students to discuss interdisciplinary topics, the history and future of Hamilton communities and explore questions surrounding University student life such as mindfulness.  The interdisciplinary topics for the core class will vary from year to year. This core part of the course will be coordinated by Dr. John Maclachlan with numerous guest speakers contributing.

For INSPIRE 1A03 students will choose three (3) modules from a suite of offerings, experiences that can occur in studio, workshops, lab and field experiences, both on and off campus, allowing the course to be geared towards their interest. During these modules students may participate in research seminars and hear the latest of what McMaster researchers are doing or participate in experiential learning opportunities in areas that you may be interested but may have never taken in your home program. The topic of these modules will vary from year to year but they are open to all students from across campus with no pre-requisite knowledge.

Current modules for INSPIRE 1A03 for May 2020 are*:

*This has been updated to reflect that changes due to COVID-19 and that INSPIRE 1AO3 will now be offered in an online virtual classroom format

Expandable List

Instructor: Audrey Wubbenhorst

Drawing on real-time case studies, this module will ask students to critically analyze how companies and their corporate leaders are rapidly responding to COVID-19.  Students will have the chance to analyze cases that relate to corporate leadership in uncertain and unprecedented times looking at stakeholder analysis and frameworks involving customers, investors, employees and government.  Looking at cases involving employee communication, CEO leadership and corporate ethics, students will be asked to evaluate CEO readiness and response and in a mini-simulation, act as CEOs themselves.

Instructor: Jacob Brodka

Why do those around you act and communicate the way that they do? How can you navigate this to be an effective leader and communicator knowing your own tendencies? In this module, students will develop an understanding of and optimize their leadership, communication and facilitation skills through a variety of group-based and personal activities in a virtual classroom. Students will explore their own personal leadership style and tendencies, gain insights into understanding and identifying ways to communicate and work effectively in diverse teams, and learn about the benefits of personal and team goal-setting. By exploring different leadership theories and models, students will reflect on the skills they have developed through curricular and co-curricular experiences and how these interconnect with personal and professional development. Students will create their own online plan for personal leadership and communication development.

Instructor: Rebecca Lee

The use of drones has been revolutionized in the last couple of years as costs decrease and accessibility to the technology increases. Applications range from the simple uses of such as taking scenic photographs to the long-term goals of potentially of revolutionizing the mailing system. Locally, the use of drones to monitor the stability and erosion of the Niagara Escarpment which runs through Hamilton has begun. In this module, you will learn how drones can be used for research purposes through exploration of the use of drones and photogrammetry. By the end of the modules you will have your drone license (necessary in Ontario) and be able to create detailed models of the surfaces (both in cities and in nature) that they can make.

Instructor: Dr. Jason Brodeur

In this course, students will develop their electronic fluency and build functional, useful devices through a collaborative, hands-on introduction to the fundamentals of electronics. Students will learn the basics by building simple circuits that integrate Arduino microcontrollers with various sensors and actuators. By developing software code to control the devices, participants will also gain experience with programming. Working with the instructor, students will consolidate their learning by building a unique device capable of sensing changes in its environments and responding accordingly. Examples of potential devices include simple weather stations, sound level sensors, or digital art exhibits. Devices will be deployed somewhere in McMaster campus for a short period of time; afterward, they will be collected, their data downloaded and visualized.

Please note that no prior knowledge or experience with electronics is need to take this module.

Instructor: Dr. Alexander Nielsen

Chemistry is often called the “central science” because it is inextricably interlinked with every other area of science. Advances in our understanding of chemistry throughout history have been the catalyst for major improvements in quality of life. Medicine, food, textiles, electronics, climate change – these topics touch each of our lives and are relevant to scholars of all backgrounds. We will examine how these and other aspects of daily life have been shaped by chemistry. While chemistry continues to advance society, progress comes at a cost and chemistry has often been used for ill intent. We will also explore some of the problems that the global chemical industry has caused, and their long-term ramifications.

Instructor: Dr. John Maclachlan

The ability to tell a story with cartography is as old a skill as map mapping itself. Even when a map is telling the truth tricks of perception can be played with the audience. Simple changes through variables such colour, projections, and positioning can help the map maker tell the story they want told. In a world where making maps is more accessible than every through open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data availability the ability create a map will help students understand how maps may have been lying to them throughout their lives.

Instructors: Khadijeh Rakie and Sashaina Singh

This introductory module will engage students in the active promotion and understanding of social justice and community engagement principles in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the lens of an intersectional framework, students will learn about the concepts and language associated with anti-oppression and have the opportunity to critically self-reflect on their own privilege. Through this interdisciplinary module, students will increase their awareness of issues that shape relationships – locally and globally during COVID-19.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Collins-Nelsen

While comedy may seem like a trivial pastime for many, what we choose to laugh at is highly reflective of what we value. Patterns of privilege and inequality are all around us, through the lens of an intersectional framework, this module encourages students to theorize these patterns in the context of stand-up comedy. Specifically, we will explore the contemporary world of stand-up comedy while asking questions such as: Who gets to be funny? How does identity and social location shape the way comedians perform? What can the relationship between comedian and context tell us about social inequality?  Throughout this course, students will be asked to think critically about the interplay of privilege and inequality in the social world around us.

Instructor: Patrick De Luca

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across the globe with daily lives and many different sectors of the economy being severely impacted.  Geographic Information (GI) Scientists have a very important role to play in times of pandemics, leveraging GIS (Geographic Information Systems) as a system of record, system of insight and system of engagement to collate data from a variety of sources, examine various types of risk, explore patterns of spread, and finally to disseminate findings via web mapping applications and dashboards.  With the aid of your instructor, you will use the state of the and the state of the practice GIS to explore how GI Scientists are helping in the fight against COVID-19.

Instructor: Dr. Amanda Montague

How does a city remember and what does it forget? How do we identify overlooked places in our city and emphasize their value? In this course, students will consider alternative narratives of place to explore what constitutes good public spaces in the city of Hamilton. To do this, students will draw from local knowledge and memories through a process of collecting, generating, and sharing stories from the community using a variety of digital storytelling tools. These narratives will be used to create an archive of lived experience that will document and cultivate overlooked connections between memory and place in the city. Through these narratives we will also consider how local histories and stories of place can contribute to imagining the future of vibrant public spaces.