Fusion class to tour University of Victoria in May
By Harry Gong
In early May, the Fusion cohort will take part in 10 days of workshops and projects at the University of Victoria. Since September, a passion for STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – has bound this group of 22 tenth-grade students. Along with teachers they’ve worked with all year, Fusioneers will escape classes for almost two weeks!
This trip is the continuation of a long Fusion tradition. Since the program’s inception in 2016, Fusion has gone annually to the University of Waterloo. The pandemic halted the trip for two years, and last year’s Fusion went on a short, tentative visit to UVic.
The ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, the students’ departure point. Photo credit: C. Guo
This isn’t your typical “campus tour.” It’s intense: the agenda is packed from 8 am to 9:30 pm! But it’s also extremely fun: Fusioneers will explore alongside UVic engineering undergraduates and professors, acting out life as a STEM major. On the agenda are morning discussions with the undergraduates and afternoon workshops with local engineering teams. The students will get exposure to a wide range of engineering topics, including Web development, robotics, data science, and AI, while contending with the ethical problems that come with the discipline.
Fusioneers will apply their newfound knowledge by touring local scientific, engineering, and medical facilities. By visiting a spatter of robotics, healthcare, and astronomical facilities, they will experience how knowledge is used in university and beyond.
The observatory on campus, which the group will visit
Every evening, the group will set aside time to socialize with the undergrads, exploring the local culture. They will go on multiple excursions to local swimming pools, climbing walls, and the bustling city centre.
Inspired by their earlier encounters, the students will spend the last four days working on a group design project. Exploring solutions to a real-world concern will take them through multiple iterations of the design thinking cycle, a development process Fusioneers have practiced countless times this year.
A path-following vehicle that the students devised. Photo credit: Marc Crompton
Finally, Fusioneers will have the opportunity to pitch to the undergraduates a project that they’ve been working on since January. This self-motivated project is the culmination of their year’s work, and the undergrads will bring a new perspective to the table. This pitch will also be the students’ final opportunity to embrace UVic before they head back to campus to finish off their projects!