TeachingCity partners sign on for another five years in Oshawa

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Published June 6, 2022 at 10:44 am

The City of Oshawa and its education partners, Durham College, Ontario Tech University, Trent University Durham GTA and the University of Toronto, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, gathered Friday at the TeachingCity Hub in downtown Oshawa to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the TeachingCity partnership and officially extend the collaboration.

The decision to extend the agreement – an easy choice considering the benefits to all parties involved – was made last fall but Oshawa and its partners waited until the actual anniversary to sign on the dotted line.

 

Since the partnership began 1,711 students and 135 post-secondary faculty have worked with City staff on unique TeachingCity projects that cover topics like diversity, equity and inclusion; storm water management ponds; virtual reality training and advanced navigation technology for firefighters; active transportation for an age-friendly community; engaging youth; supporting local culture and business; digital wayfinding; optimizing City operations routes; and corporate energy management planning.

The partnership has included 55 applied research projects and 52 courses, as well as 192 experiential learning opportunities where students have become part of team Oshawa through placements or practicums.

“In the five years since this partnership began Durham College students have received one-of-a-kind, hands-on experiences through TeachingCity that are making a difference in our community, allowing them to apply their unique skillset in a supportive, innovative and collaborative work-integrated learning environment. These opportunities are preparing our students for success now and in the future, as they develop valuable, in-demand skills to launch meaningful careers,” said Don Lovisa, President, Durham College.

Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University, agreed, adding that “experiential” learning is fundamental to Ontario Tech University’s programs. “We are pleased to continue with this collaboration, and excited to see what ideas, insights and practical solutions emerge in the years ahead.”

The TeachingCity Initiative is a strategic partnership of municipal government, City partners and academic institutions focused on studying and addressing urban issues in Oshawa through innovation, collaboration and shared experiential learning opportunities.  The initiative launched in 2017 for a five-year period.

As a TeachingCity, the City and its partners focus on:

  • developing practical, scalable and sustainable solutions to urban issues;
  • building research partnerships;
  • coordinating experiential learning opportunities, applied research and innovative educational activities;
  • developing new technologies;
  • sharing access to facilities, resources and equipment;

“Together, we are co-designing solutions and policy for the future of our city and better future for all,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “Thank you to the faculty and post-secondary students for your innovative work and amazing contributions.”

“In the five years since this partnership began, more than 1,000 Durham College students have received one-of-a-kind, hands-on experiences through TeachingCity that are making a difference in our community, allowing them to apply their unique skillset in a supportive, innovative and collaborative work-integrated learning environment. These opportunities are preparing our students for success now, and in the future, as they develop valuable, in-demand skills to launch meaningful careers,” said Don Lovisa, President, Durham College.

“Experiential learning is fundamental to Ontario Tech University’s flexible and dynamic academic programs, preparing students to become future leaders and make a positive impact on their communities. The TeachingCity partnership has provided invaluable opportunities for our students to work with City staff to investigate and develop solutions to some of the City of Oshawa’s most pressing issues. We are pleased to continue with this collaboration, and excited to see what ideas, insights and practical solutions emerge in the years ahead,” Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University.

Trent University Durham and University of Toronto’s Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering also chimed in with praise for the partnership. “Providing opportunities for students to co-create solutions to practical problems faced by modern cities is a way Trent University Durham GTA and the City of Oshawa put experiential learning in reach of all our students,” said Dr. Scott Henderson, Dean & Head, Trent University Durham GTA.

Professor Brent Sleep, who chairs U of T’s Civil & Mineral engineering department, said the biggest benefit was his students solving “real-world problems” in urban situations. “This is a tremendous educational opportunity for our students and we are excited to continue developing our activities and projects.”

 

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