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OSHAWA – TeachingCity partners the City of Oshawa, Durham College (DC), Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology celebrated today the inaugural City Idea Lab student showcase and the generous gift of $322,000 from RBC Foundation as part of the RBC Future Launch program.

Introduced in September, City Idea Lab is an innovative curriculum-based program that draws on the knowledge and creativity of college and university students who work directly with faculty and City staff to co-design solutions through active community research and involvement. Each course focuses on a particular City-identified problem statement embedded in the teaching of the academic curriculum.

The first City Idea Lab cohort included DC students and upper-year undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Fall term projects addressed the challenge question: How might the City of Oshawa better engage youth in priority neighbourhoods?

On hand for the December 7 showcase were students from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology who displayed their project posters that illustrated their active research on engaging youth in priority neighbourhoods during the semester.

The student project ideas from the fall term of City Idea Lab will be on display at Oshawa City Hall from Friday, December 7 to Friday, December 14.

In the next term, students from DC, Trent University Durham GTA and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology will take part in the following courses:

  • DC: School of Media, Art & Design – Community Collaborations and Service Learning course.
  • Trent University Durham GTA: Child and Youth Studies course on Career Development through Community Service Learning; and a Sociology course on Key Concepts in Sociological Analysis.
  • The University of Ontario Institute of Technology: Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Community Development Policy course; a course on Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System; and a course for Social Science and Humanities Practicum students.

The showcase was held at the TeachingCity Hub and also shone the spotlight on a new mural within the space. Designed by artist Leana Anderson, a young indigenous artist and graduate of Durham College with a diploma in Fine Arts, Ms. Anderson’s mural is titled, “The Balance” and embodies ethical innovation.

The TeachingCity Hub, located in downtown Oshawa, serves as a key location for the City Idea Lab courses. The open-concept space is a dedicated place to facilitate TeachingCity projects with the City’s education and research partners, including students, faculty and staff. The Hub provides opportunities for TeachingCity partners to share access to facilities, resources and equipment, and includes office, classroom and open lab space.


“City Idea Lab is another remarkable example of how the City of Oshawa is collaborating with our TeachingCity partners to actively engage, learn from and work with young minds to find innovative solutions for a better future for all in our city,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter.

“Today’s showcase is the culmination of months of hard work and effort on the part of the students, faculty, City of Oshawa and the other TeachingCity partners,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “It’s very rewarding to see this initiative come to life in a real and meaningful way. This cohort’s success is a strong indicator that this type of immersive learning works for all parties involved.”

“Trent University Durham GTA is thrilled to participate in the City Idea Lab. It is an amazing opportunity for our students to engage in experiential learning that will develop them into the next generation of community leaders. We look forward to our students participating in ‘real-life’ priority issues and applying Trent’s unique interdisciplinary approach to learning to help design solutions for the larger community,” said Joe Muldoon, Head, Trent University Durham GTA.

“The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is proud to be a partner in the City Idea Lab,” said Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. “The City Idea Lab is an example of how the power of partnerships among higher education, local industry and governments is turning our community into a living lab for applied research. We are unleashing the collective knowledge and capacity of our networks for economic gain and social good.”

“The driving factor for the RBC Foundation’s support of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is really around making sure there are strong experiential learning opportunities for young Canadians,” said Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President of RBC's Ontario North and East region. “We need to help youth explore their interests, test their limits and inspire them to do more than they themselves thought they could. There is a need to invest in solid experiential learning, inspire an innovation mindset and to think beyond traditional models of learning. This is precisely what the City Idea Lab achieves.”

About TeachingCity

TeachingCity brings together the City of Oshawa and its education and research partners – Canadian Urban Institute, Durham College, Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

The partners address Oshawa’s urban issues through innovation, collaboration, applied research and shared experiential learning opportunities with the aim to position Oshawa as a local, national and global community of urban research and learning.

Learn more about TeachingCity at www.oshawa.ca/TeachingCity and follow #OshTeachingCity on Twitter and Instagram.


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