Pilot course at Mount Allison sees students provide hands-on solutions to NB businesses
A new course piloted at Mount Allison University this year saw students working directly with science-based businesses in New Brunswick as part of their learning experience.
Aimed at Science and Commerce students, the new experiential learning course, Exploring Science-based Businesses in New Brunswick, was offered on campus this fall. Taught by Dr. Dawn Henwood, Mount Allison’s Manager of Experiential Learning, the class included the opportunity for students to work directly with local clients as well as a two-day field trip to learn about science-based business in New Brunswick.
“The class saw students work directly with businesses and learn valuable skills, such as critical thinking, project management, and how to work as a team,” says Henwood. “Working on a real-life challenge gave us a different format from that of a typical class, and, I think we all learned valuable lessons throughout the term.”
Commerce student Nicole Keay says the course was a fantastic experience.
“Bringing Science and Commerce students together in a small class brought different academic and career perspectives to our group work, class discussions, and projects,” she says. “One of the highlights for me was the opportunity to visit a number of science-based businesses in the province. These road trips provided a first-hand look at their operations, and helped us understand the challenges of building a business with a science focus.”
Honours chemistry student Max Landry says the opportunity to work with a real-world business was unique and valuable.
“I feel that we all learned many important skills that will be useful in science and business-related fields among several others.”
Shediac-based Resilia Medical Solutions and Moncton-based Picomole were the course clients, connecting with students throughout the term. The students were presented with a business challenge from each company. The class divided into four teams, two working with each company throughout the term. At the end of the term, each team presented a solution to the business challenge, and the clients chose their preferred solution.
Along with the field trip, interaction and with local businesses, and regular class discussions and assignments, students also had the option to participate in the Business of Science workshop, held at Mount Allison in September, as part of their class experience. The weekend workshop saw interdisciplinary teams of business and science students work together to investigate ideas for the commercialization of scientific research currently happening on campus.
The students also visited Blue Roof Distilleries, Malley Industries, VidCruiter Inc., Organigram, and the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute as part of the course curriculum. The class field trip was funded in-part by the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour and the New Brunswick Business Council.
Photo captions: Students in the new experiential learning course, Exploring Science-based Businesses in New Brunswick during their field trip to various NB-businesses.