Ryerson science gets innovative

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By Aidan Macnab

New zone learning initiatives are on the horizon as the science faculty is planning on creating a zone focused on innovation in science.

Plans for the zone are still in the preliminary stages. Director of zone learning Randy Boyagoda and science faculty dean Imogen Coe are meeting with student leaders and faculty members to figure out what a science-focused zone will look like.

Those ideas will be brought to Provost Mohamed Lachemi to determine what needs to be done to bring the zone to life.

“I’m excited,” Boyagoda said. “Because what we see on campus is students who are creative and ambitious and want to try to do something beyond their classroom experience.”

In addition to a new science-related learning zone, Boyagoda said there is interest in developing a zone for engineering students as well. Next year Ryerson, in collaboration with St. Michael’s Hospital, will unveil a bio-medical zone.

Boyagoda met with computer science students last week to further discuss the new zone.

“They were all really impressed with the idea of having a dedicated space and access to devices that would let them experiment and explore new ways of enhancing on computing experience,” he said.

The multi-discipline approach is a response to feedback Boyagoda said he has been getting from students who want something that speaks to their interest similar to the Digital Media Zone.

Zone learning is intended to bring students together for experi- ential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration. The zones provide workspace, resources, specific learning modules and connect students with mentors, professionals and entrepreneurs who try to turn ideas into reality.

“Every university in North America is trying in some way, shape or form to find a way to support student innovation,” Boyagoda said. “At Ryerson we have a mandate, because of our very charter, to provide career relevant, socially-engaged education and I think zone learning is a very good way of doing that.”

The zones are meant to help students gain contacts and apply their skills to the real world.

“It’s about the experience students get from taking an idea and being given the opportunity to work on that idea and to change the world,” Coe said.

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