High Impact Learning

Living the science you learn requires a keen awareness of how different science disciplines converge to address scientific, social, industrial and economic issues. It makes clear the contexts within which your newly acquired scientific knowledge and skills can be applied. It means being able to translate technical and complex concepts into language that potential employers, colleagues and peers will understand. And, it involves stepping out of the classroom and even out of your comfort zone and quite literally into the field, an industrial or government lab, or even into a corporate environment, here or across the globe to develop professional competencies.

Western Science offers high-impact learning activities, courses and even a dedicated program to bring science to life while providing a holistic approach to prepare you for the challenges and opportunities of your future career.

Authentic Learning Contexts

Attend the weekly Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Seminar to learn about the research taking place across the department and to engage in meaningful reflection and discussion about complex scientific issues.

Take courses that simulate the development arm of software companies and game studios. Develop an innovative business plan to commercialize novel science and emerging technologies through particpation in PROTEUS.

Experience interdisciplinary science problem-solving as a participant in the annual multi-university SCINAPSE Science Case Competition or during the Industry Problem-Solving Week.

Apply academic knowledge to exciting projects on the ground in national and international locales; study forest ecology in the Adirondacks, desert ecology in the American southwest, tropical marine environments in Belize, and craters in the Sultanate of Oman. 

You might even be able to participate in an annual Mars analogue planetary exploration mission. Incorporating functional space robotics and implementing relevant tools and learned techniques, students experience the challenges of remote exploration. From developing a mission plan to taking on a technical, scientific and/or management role in ‘Mission Control”, participants learn to plan, troubleshoot, communicate clearly with their supervisors, peers and even with the robotics technology while carrying out critical tasks in a time-lag context. This opportunity exposes students to the intensity of the moment, the rigour required to ensure mission success and provides an extraordinary community-building experience.

Capstone Projects

Both the BSc and BMSc programs offer mentored research projects in world-class professors'labs. This could be your hands-on introduction to our cutting-edge facilities, science research, and may even result in your first technical publication.

Students completing a four-year honors degree in science deliver a research project that reflects the knowledge and skills learned over the course of the degree. The Department of Chemistry, in particular, provides skill-development opportunities as part of this degree path including interviews, workshops and an opportunity to present the student's capstone project to an audience of professional scientists, while attending the National Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Project.

Integrated Science (WISc)

Combine all of the specialized knowledge of an honors degree with a broad general science background and add marketable corporate skills to work on cutting-edge problems that span the traditional science disciplines leveraged in industry and academia. More information.

International Learning Opportunities

Experience a new culture, language or exotic venue while developing your knowledge, skills and network through exchanges and study abroad programs with other universities, field schools, summer research, internships and volunteer opportunities across the globe. More information.

Internships

Gain significant work experience, ‘try on’ a career, and make valuable contacts – all while earning a full salary. These 8- to 16-month paid positions in industry and government are open to Year 3 students. Click here to hear from our student interns or go the the Science Internship website for more information.

Learning In the Field

Add first-hand problem-solving experience to your academic portfolio through field courses, from virtual field  trips in Computer Science, into the problem-solving core of industry partner enterprises to work on corporate challenges, to tropical marine exploration in Belize with Biology, to studying impact craters in Oman with Earth Sciences. There are so many options to explore! 

Science Communications

Share your research and get experience developing content for peer-review. The Western Undergraduate Research Journal: Health and Natural Sciences (WURJHNS) is a student-run open access, peer-reviewed and faculty-reviewed online journal that publishes original research, review articles, and Students in the Field reports. For more information visit http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/wurjhns/.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Working in a lab over the summer is a great way to explore your research interests, develop technical skills, and expand your new network. Embedded in research groups, undergraduate students experience both the support of seasoned faculty supervisors and their graduate students as well as the autonomy to explore important questions, use cutting-edge technologies and share acquired expertise and passion for science in written and oral reports, conference presentations and, in some instances, in peer-reviewed publications! Anna Zhu, for example, a two-time beneficiary of the NSERC USRA, turned her expertise in applied mathematics to the study of the biological mutation of Ebola and ended up contributing to a peer-reviewed article on managing the financial risk and controlling the spread of the deadly virus.