Given the success and demand of the pilot ICON Transdisciplinary Classroom, co-creators Dr. Daniel Gillis (School of Computer Science) and Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs (Department of Integrative Biology) offered to lead ICON again.
During winter 2016, almost 50 students from more than 17 disciplines in 5 colleges at the University of Guelph enrolled to take part in the second ICON classroom. Students began by registering for a senior independent study course relevant to their discipline, then agreeing to meet once per week in a transdisciplinary setting to develop solutions for a community partner.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the feedback from students, faculty, and our community partners regarding the pilot ICON classroom that ran during the winter semester of 2015”, said Gillis. “Not only that, but we now have organizations contacting us to bring their broad social and sustainability challenges to the students,” added Jacobs.
This year the students are working with the Yorklands Green Hub to develop a mobile sustainability classroom. Students from across campus are working to build the classroom’s design, marketing, budget, and curriculum that will allow Yorklands Green Hub to bring the message of sustainable living to elementary and high school students across the province.