CSCD03: Experiential Learning

CSCD03 is largely focused on the impact of information technology on society. As such, we have partnered with the co-op department to provide some experiential learning opportunities for members of this class.

These opportunities are not mandatory, and will only be offered to students that are deemed eligible, and who have a genuine interest in gaining first hand experience of the impacts of information technology on local community partners.

You will not be marked directly on your work in the community, but you will be able to integrate your experiences into your term paper; furthermore, your final assignment of the term may consist of an experience report detailing what you did, and what you learned about the social impacts of your role with the community partner.

Potential Partners/Projects

The details of the actual placements will be worked out once an application is made and a match between student and partner is found. The following organizations have expressed interest in student placements, and have suggested possible projects. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and may change without notice.

OganizationProject Summary
SV Robotics

SV Robotics Academy is a virtual learning academy for project-based STEM courses. We enable students through technical training (C#, JavaScript, Python, HTML/CSS, 3D Design). All of SV Students range from ages 6-16.

Volunteers will be developing materials and teaching technical and coding skills to students aged 6-16 from traditionally underrepresented groups using a combination of Python, Arduino, and Lego Robotics.

The BRIDGE at U of T Scarborough & The African Impact Challenge

The BRIDGE is a multi-purpose academic space that spans teaching, study, research, and experiential learning for business, finance, and entrepreneurship. It is a partnership between UTSC’s Department of Management and the UTSC Library.

We provide a hands-on learning experience for students interested in Management disciplines and their real-world applications, while supporting the research needs of UTSC faculty.

The African Impact Challenge are organizations committed to building the future of Africa through the youth; by empowering them to create sustainable solutions.

This is achieved through initiatives centered around impact entrepreneurship, sector engagement, community impact and career development. The AIC supports young Africans who are passionate about building local solutions to their most pressing community problems. The AIC believes the greatest amount of impact can be achieved through market-creating innovations, and have committed to birthing these across the continent with technology.

We are looking for technical consulting to support current start-ups with their platform expansion and development. Technical consulting and coding of a web portal to support the organization's strategic goals for external outreach, crowd funding, processing student entrepreneur applications, and other external-facing communications.

The World Computer Organizational

The World Computer Organization (WCO) has launched the World Computer Project initiative with a mission to socially engineer a more dignified digital future for people everywhere. To ensure we have a technology legacy that serves us rather than displaces us, we need diverse ideas, perspectives, and opinions spanning all human disciplines. The project is in search of bright, energetic, young volunteer students from a broad cross-section of the Humanities and STEM, who will contribute their varied talents, knowledge, imagination and compassion to some of the most existential problems facing mankind.

The students will be involved with researching and/or prototyping of various modifications to classic computer science algorithms in the following areas:

  • Distributed systems (e.g.; distributed hash tables)
  • Language parsers (e.g.; source code obfuscating techniques)
  • Database Indexing systems (e.g.; modified B+ Trees, etc. )

Toronto Zoo

Our mission is to connect people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction. In order to achieve this our organization is focusing on building an exemplary team of passionate individuals, creating a centre of conservation science, building unique and memorable guest experiences, fostering our community and revolutionize the use of technology in zoological setting. The Toronto Zoo cares for over 450 different animal species. The Nutrition Science Centre formulates, produces and delivers species specific diet programs that meet the physiological, morphological and behavioural needs of the animals under our care. There are over 300 different diet items/ingredients that are mixed and matched to create very specific diet programs for the diversity of life cared for at Toronto Zoo.

The matched student(s) will be working with Nutrition Science to create a cloud-based application to improve our inventory and ordering systems. The student(s) will work closely with Nutrition Science to integrate the required parameters including barcode tracking, packaging details, vendor info, stocking needs, and ordering calendar, into one system for use by Toronto Zoo Nutrition Science staff. Students will meet for 1 hour every week with Nutrition Science Supervisor to review progress. Specific skills/certifications include proven experience building cloud-based applications, proficient with database management, exemplary communication skills, and capable of working with minimal supervision. Students who are applying should provide/attach a portfolio of apps that they have developed with their resume and transcripts.

Sense Tech Solutions

SenseTech develops accessible virtual reality simulations for persons with disabilities. These simulations emulate realistic senses such as touch, hearing and vision; serving as rehabilitation and training tools for organizations to offer affordable, repeatable and impactful virtual services.

We are working in partnership with Laval University on a fire safety project for seniors in retirement home facilities. We will be in the middle stage of the software development cycle, and will request for students to help out in formatting mechanics in C# or helping with scene development. We will be working in an game engine called Unity, and will do all necessary training.

Urban Alliance on Race Relations

"The Urban Alliance on race relations is a non-profit charitable organization that works primarily and proactively with the community, public and private sectors to provide educational programs and research, which are critical in addressing racism in society. The Urban Alliance was formed in 1975 by a group of concerned Toronto citizens."

We are looking for students to assist in one or all of the following: Social Media marketing, creation, email outreach, collecting contact and analytical information on community organizations, and assisting project coordinators.


Nobellum is a female led not-for-profit dedicated to creating a space in the digital community for the BIPOC youth to network, build tech businesses and strategize for socio-economic upliftment. Our vision is to inspire a generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals to collaborate as we work together to re-define the future of innovation and science. While we stand united with our allies, we recognize that the Black community is facing additional obstacles, that is why we have initiated a company wide mandate is to support the startup of 100 Black owned technology-based businesses by the year 2025.

We have developed an Economic Development Program (EDP) with 2 projects, (1) Innovathon, (2) Innovator Bridging Program (IBP) facilitated by the Nobel-Hub online platform. Nobel-Hub provides startups in our IBP access to essential startup business services.

Our primary target audience are high school and post secondary students, recent graduates and technology professionals. By creating partnerships with student and alumni organizations across Canadian colleges and universities, we address the need for role models and encourage youth and vulnerable populations to seek mentors through our platform. This is how we plan to action our mission to promote STEM among BIPOC youth and to foster a cohesive Business-2-Business network.

The students will be asked to work on Nobellum's web application which hosts the website and login to the Nobel-Hub platform. Students will primarily be asked to make front-end changes to the User Interface. We will ask them to add some animation using Javascript, embed videos and update designs.

The web app is built using Visual Studio on the .NET Core framework. The main languages are C# and Bootstrap Flex 4. We would love for students to also provide feedback on how to make our message clearer to younger audience.

Success Stories

Bar Slutsky: SenseTech Solutions/CNIB
When I received the offer to assist the university's partners at CNIB, I didn't really know what to expect. However, the past few months of taking part in developing a VR application for CNIB have been the best experience I’ve had during my time in school. During that time, I joined a team from a VR start-up company and learned how to develop VR applications, assisted with the project for CNIB, got to present the final product at a professional show at the Metro Convention centre downtown, and even received an offer to join the VR start-up company in working on one of their projects, starting in January. The experiential learning program is a great way for us CS students to represent our university by helping the community. In return, we get the opportunity to earn valuable skills, real-world experience to show on our resumes, and potentially even job opportunities.

How To Apply

If you are interested in applying for an experiential learning opportunity as part of CSCD03, simply fill in THIS FORM with your information. If selected, you will be contacted for more information via e-mail.

Application Form

Last Modified: 2021 Jan 18
Copyright © 2019 Brian Harrington, University of Toronto.