Students collaborate to solve a real-world issue in 48 hours

Students recently participated in the 3rd Annual School of Construction and the Environment 2-Day Challenge. The challenge is a collaborative initiative that brings together students from different programs in teams to solve a real-world issue in 48-hours and present their solutions to a panel of industry, government and indigenous judges.

The event involved 3 teams of students, with a student from Fish, Wildlife and Recreation (FWR), Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM), Geomatics, Ecological Restoration, Architectural Science and Civil Engineering on each team.

Student teams were tasked with creating a conceptual design for the new Center for Ecological Restoration & Climate Adaptation at BCIT, which includes meaningful indigenous design and a plan for daylighting Guichon Creek.

I can easily say that this was one of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve had at BCIT,” stated an enthusiastic 4th year Architectural Science student.

The event began with an evening gathering, led by indigenous students, for team building, discussions around reconciliation, and to provide participants with insights into indigenous culture.

Mentors from industry and BCIT played a large part in helping guide the students through the 48 hr process. At the start of the challenge, each team had 30 minutes to “pick the brains” of prominent hydrologist, engineers, indigenous designers and architects. Students also engaged with members and elders from local First Nations at the BCIT Indigenous Gathering Place. Professionals from prominent consultancies and government volunteered their time to act as judges to determine the winning proposal at a banquet evening.

The 2-Day Challenge has gained momentum over the past 3-years thanks to dream team coordinators, Hélène Marcoux and Laurie Stott, two faculty members from the Renewable Resource Department. Participation from industry and student engagement was overwhelmingly positive. President Kathy Kinloch attended the banquet evening and witnessed the collaborative potential of BCIT students.


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