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Summer iExplore courses open vistas through hands-on experience

This summer UTSC students will get the chance to spend a week in the forest, consider the fascination of prime numbers, examine the importance of poetry in popular culture and more as part of the summer iExplore courses at UTSC.

 “iExplore courses are intended for students who want to explore where they might want to go in their undergraduate education,” says John Scherk, vice-dean, undergraduate. “So we’re offering courses that are not part of the regular curriculum to open up new vistas for them.”

From Field to Forest is a field course that will take a group of students on a five-day trip to the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill to conduct basic ecological research at U of T’s outdoor laboratory there, following forest development from grassy field to old-growth. (For more information on From Field to Forest go here or contact Robin Marushia at

In Magic of Numbers (MATA02) students with no math background beyond Grade 10 will be introduced to basic but interesting math in the broader context of human culture and history. They might learn about the neuroscience behind human number sense, what an ancient Greek paradox can tell us about infinity, or the way that prime numbers can be used for high-security data encryption.

Poetry and Popular Culture (ENGA18) will examine poetry in the context of popular culture, ranging from reading poets such as Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg to considering song lyrics as a form of popular poetry.

WikiScholar (PSYA90) will turn students into educators. They will examine, improve and create Wikipedia entries about a variety of topics in psychology.

In the course Labels, Attachments and Identities: From Apple to ‘Zed’ (POLA11) students will work with faculty to design surveys that measure opinions about consumer brands, political parties and personal identities. The project will reveal similarities and differences between political opinions and consumer attitudes.

Foundations in Effective Academic Communication (CTLA01) is an interactive course for English Language Learners designed to enhance critical thinking, reading, writing and oral communications skills by providing practical experience with university-level academic texts and assignment expectations.

Registration for the courses is open now.

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