Students propose community solutions to COVID 19 challenges during change-a-thon

Community Outreach, Skills Development

The first-ever MacChangers: Change-a-Thon,a virtual week-long program, connected teams of students from all faculties and levels of study to brainstorm, share insights and collaborate with community groups in Hamilton.

Last week, 135 McMaster students completed the first-ever MacChangers: Change-a-Thon, a virtual program designed to bring together students and community partners to co-create proposals to solve challenges during COVID-19.

Each team was asked to think critically about challenges identified by members of the community, including the Hamilton Farmers Market, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), Downtown Hamilton and Barton Village BIA and the City of Hamilton.

“The MacChangers program focuses on guiding our students through a process of gaining insights into problems – why they exist, what they feel like for different people who experience them, what structures exist that serve as barriers to overcoming them and what are the strengths available to leverage in order to find feasible solutions,” says Beth Levinson, Program and Educational Developer at McMaster’s Office of Community Engagement and one of the leads for the MacChangers: Change-a-Thon.

During the first four days of the Change-a-Thon, teams extensively researched their challenge area to brainstorm a solution to propose to their community partner. On the fifth and final day, they pitched their ideas via video to faculty and staff members and the broader City of Hamilton community.

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