Experiential learning is learning-by-doing, bridging knowledge and experience through critical reflection. Experiential learning activities are intentionally designed and assessed. As such, they empower learners to enhance individual and collaborative skills such as complex problem-solving, professional practice skills and teamwork. Reflecting critically on these activities helps individuals develop higher-order thinking to challenge and advance their perspectives. The experiential learning process prepares students to take on roles as active citizens and thrive in an increasingly complex world.
Thanks to funding from the Shell Experiential Energy Learning Program (SEEL), in 2020-21, 172 UCalgary undergraduate students and six project groups benefited from these experiential learning opportunities:
Emerging Leaders for Clean Energy
Students explored the possibility of adding indoor solar-charging hubs on campus at UCalgary. These hubs would showcase the use of solar energy and serve as a low-carbon alternative productivity space.
Emulating Nature in Innovations (ENOVA)
Funding was awarded for project prototypes for the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (BGDC). Teams worked on two BGDC 2021 projects: Project 1 aimed to utilize sustainable energy for temporary homeless shelters, and Project 2 employed a systems-based approach to energy transition by using oil and gas facilities for renewable energy.
Go Baby Go
The Go Baby Go (GBG) team addressed the lack of affordable, viable options for toddlers’ independent mobility devices through a low-cost power wheelchair with a modular design. GBG retrofitted electric ride-on toy cars for children with mobility disabilities to provide them with independence, inclusion and developmental gains.
Fifty Schulich School of Engineering students developed basic to advanced technology lessons for staff, volunteers and others in the African country of Malawi to encourage learning of the computer skills necessary to excel and solve problems with technology. Project90 aims to sustain the environment by refurbishing and modifying laptops, which are then linked to an innovative education program that aims to use technology for teaching about water filtration. Water filtration education aims to prevent cholera, the leading cause of death in children under five in Malawi.
Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Project
Students created autonomous, economical moving solar panel mechanisms for solar farms, designing a solar panel base that follows the sun and increases the efficiency of industrial panels.
Students converted a car from gas to electric which involves interdisciplinary aspects by introducing technical hands-on skills, budgeting, marketing and outreach in the community. The goal of this project is to make the conversion process not only more affordable, but more accessible.
Shell Canada’s commitment to the program demonstrates its dedication to our long-standing partnership and to cultivating the next generation of leaders and innovators.