University of Waterloo Knowledge Integration Workshop
On Monday, November 12th, Ms. Ritsma took a group of 28 NWSS students to the University of Waterloo to participate in a knowledge integration workshop. Four KI students, led our group into the world of design, problem-solving, and critical thinking and its applications real-world problems such as remedy the problems with a student’s best friend: the backpack.
To apply this learning, they split everyone into groups and had us identify the problems and create potential remedies to fix their design. One such idea, brought up to remedy the problem of backpacks as a tripping hazard in classrooms, was to install a back wall or sheet of metal underneath desks equipped with a hook to allow for students to hang their backpacks on them without sacrificing too much leg room. Another solution, dealing more with the physical characteristics of the backpack itself, was to increase the carrying capacity by giving the bag a more unique shape, allowing it to expand and hold more items. These were just a few of the many great ideas that were rationalized by the groups. After pitching their prototypes to the other groups, they listened to a lecture from Asst. Professor, Vanessa Schweizer from the Department of Knowledge Integration regarding the socioeconomic circumstances that surround climate change. She explained how society might change in order to prevent climate change by suggesting alternate realities and possible scenarios in which our society needs to choose and therefore, follow.
To close off the day, we were given a tour of the campus by ambassadors of the school, and we visited the Dana Porter Library, the Institute for Quantum Computing, Earth Sciences Museum, and the Student Life Centre.