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Final year SOCSCI course merges community, business, and environmental impact. Register now!

Course places Social Sciences, Business and Engineering students in teams to work with a family-run Alpaca farm to help guide their business, charitable work, and environmental impact.

Aug 22, 2018

SOC SCI 4ID3 Addressing Social Problems through Business, Engineering and Social Science

This interdisciplinary capstone course allows social sciences, business, and engineering students work together as teams on issues that impact the community through interdisciplinary, self-directed, project-based, experiential learning.  

A community partner brings forward problems for teams of students to solve in their own unique way.  While there will be lectures in the first approximately four weeks, after that the course time will be used by teams to develop and perhaps implement their solutions.

The goal is for students to develop the following skills (among others):

  • Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to real-world experiences
  • Understand and appreciate the unique skills, knowledge, and perspectives of those with a different academic background
  • Apply discipline knowledge in an integrative manner, taking into account other disciplines perspectives
  • Work effectively as a team member/leader
  • Develop foundational project development and management skills

This Year’s Proposed Project(s)

The course will be working with a family-run Alpaca farm to help guide their business, charitable work, and environmental impact. The specific projects are not confirmed, but here are some of the areas of focus that are being looked at:

  • Sustainable dying/processing
  • Clothing upcycling business
  • Mental health support/therapy animals
  • Charity work
  • Operations environmental impact
  • E-commerce/storefront
  • Expanding into new business
  • Marketing strategy

Application Process

If you are interested in taking the course, please send the following information to Ruthanne Talbot at talbotr@mcmaster.ca by Monday, August 27 at 4pm.

Please read the above course details and provide a brief statement of interest, including your name and student number, indicating:

  • Why you are interested in participating in the course
  • How you see your academic program(s) connecting to this course
  • What you hope to learn through this experience