Global Engineering Challenge (Summer 2020)

Engage with experts in engineering, develop critical thinking skills, and create solutions to global issues.

The Global Engineering Challenge aims to broaden the minds of Grade 9–12 students. This program is designed for highly committed and motivated students who have an interest in problem-solving. 

Each week, students will have the opportunity to engage with experts in engineering, mental health and sustainability. Students will participate in workshops that will provide them with a deeper understanding of the challenges engineers face and be guided towards developing effective solutions. This program supports the goals of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering in preparing students with the technical and trans-disciplinary competencies necessary for them to identify, learn, and apply along with engineering practices to resolve global challenges, create new technologies and contribute to the prosperity of society. 

The Global Engineering Challenge is a remote, online and accessible opportunity. We are excited to present this opportunity as part of our Online Summer Programming and hope that you will accept this challenge.

Global Engineering Program-5


Students will be assigned to a specific focus based on their grade level, which will act as their theme throughout the program. Grade 9 & 10 will focus on rebuilding the toilet, while Grade 11 & 12 students will focus on children's mental health. The entire program consists of four modules, each a week long. The first three modules are dedicated to acquiring different skills from engineering design to concept generation.

The fourth module is Design Week where students are presented with a specific challenge and will work in teams to solve a real-world challenge. Each module stands on its own. Students can sign up to attend one module without having to attend the rest. However, if you wish to participate in Module 4: Design Week, you will need to have attended at least one (1) other module.

In addition to engineering design workshops, students will have the opportunity to participate in life skills seminars that will cover a variety of topics to help them further develop skills that will help them succeed beyond the classroom.


Grade 9 and 10 students will focus on the challenge of building an accessible and sustainable toilet. In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiated the Rebuild the Toilet Challenge after researchers noted that traditional toilets involve extensive sewer networks, running water and can be extremely expensive. Since then, researchers all over the world have been developing novel ideas to tackle this problem to create a toilet that could be affordable and sustainable to all. 

Over the first three weeks, students will participate in a variety of workshops to gain a deeper understanding of what engineering is and how engineers design sustainable products. 

The final week is Design Week, where students will be presented with a specific challenge related to creating sanitation solutions for the developing world using their skills gained in the previous weeks.

The environment is an important part of our world—it provides us with the resources to live and thrive as humans. This challenge will give students the skills to think critically about our environment and to develop practical solutions on how we can move towards a more sustainable community. As engineers, we are part of a global inter-woven community and it is our responsibility to develop solutions that will benefit all those part of it. 

Grade 11 and 12 students will focus on the challenge of mental health among children aged 11-13. Approximately 1 in 5 children in Ontario deal with a mental health challenge but only 3 out of 10 seek professional help. Factors such as socioeconomic status, family status, education institutions, social media, societal expectations, and healthcare accessibility can impact our will to seek and receive help. As the world becomes more digital, people also spend more time on devices which also has an impact on our well-being. As a collective, we need to take action and establish effective support systems that will benefit not only ourselves but for future generations. 

Over the first three weeks, students will participate in workshops to gain a deeper understanding of how engineers use design tools to benefit mental wellness. The final week is Design Week, where students will be presented with a specific challenge related to supporting mental well-being using their skills gained in the previous weeks.

Mental health is an important part of our daily lives. Building resources and institutions that can support mental health needs is an essential step in creating and maintaining resilience. We hope this challenge will further educate students regarding mental health and encourage participants to think creatively to promote overall well-being amongst youth.


Module 1 • July 20–24

The Engineering Design Process

Students will explore how engineers approach a problem and the specific steps they take when designing a solution. They will identify stakeholders and more importantly, how the presence of stakeholders influences the Engineering Design Process. Students will develop solutions using the Engineering Design Process and present their solutions on a web page they designed using HTML/CSS.

Module 2 • July 27–31

Developing a Virtual Prototype

Students will learn how engineers design a visual model of their product. They will develop a visual representation of their solution using design principles. Students will use SketchUp and UX/UI software to develop their own virtual prototypes. They will validate their prototypes using methods that engineers use and present their final designs on SketchUp and Figma.

Module 3 • August 4–7

Business Development and Customer Feedback Loop

Students will discover how engineers develop a business plan for their product. They will develop a two-page marketing plan using the Engineering Design Principles. Students will also learn how to gather relevant feedback about their product to determine how well their product meets engineering specifications.

*Note that the workshops for Module 3  (August 4–7, 2020) will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as Monday, August 3rd is a civic holiday.

Module 4 • August 10–14

Design Week

Teams of students will address a specific challenge related to their program focus using the skills they have developed over the previous three modules. They will navigate a variety of design and project constraints with the goal of creating a virtual prototype and a business proposal. Teams will present their final product on a website for design feedback.


All times are in Eastern Daylight Time. (EDT) (UTC -4)

On Mondays, every section will attend the guest speaker lecture which will be 1.5 hours and happen between 10 AM and 4 PM depending on the week.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays they will be split into their section groups which will meet at the times stated below.

Section 1: Grade 9/10 AM | 10:30 AM–12:00 PM

Section 2: Grade 9/10 PM | 2:30 PM–4:00 PM


Section 3: Grade 11/12 AM | 10:00 AM–11:30 AM

Section 4: Grade 11/12 PM | 2:30 PM–4:00 PM


If I just completed Grade 8, can I participate in the program?

Unfortunately, you can only participate in the program if you have completed Grade 9 or higher. 

If you have just completed Grade 8 check out our Online Coding Program

If I just completed Grade 10, which program can I sign up for?

If you just completed Grade 9 or 10, you can sign up for the Grade 9/10 program. If you just completed Grades 11 or 12, you can sign up for the Grade 11/12 program.

What technology do I need for remote learning?

U of T has compiled a list of Recommended Technology Requirements for Remote/Online Learning. Students taking part in the Global Engineering Challenge will need a computer (tablets are not recommended), internet access with a minimum download speed of 5Mbps, speakers, and microphone (or headset).

Do you provide bursaries for this program?

Yes, we do. A completed bursary form is required to be considered for a bursary. Note that if your 2019 notice of assessment doesn’t reflect your current situation due to COVID-19, please explain your current situation further in the form linked above.

When will I get the schedule?
Week-by-week detailed schedules will be emailed one (1) week before the start of each module. 
For the overview of the entire program check out this program-at-a-glance
What is the weekly time commitment?

The GEC program requires no more than 6 hours of participation per week. There will be four (4) workshops per week, each workshop is 1.5 hours. Workshops will be scheduled for late morning or early afternoon. 


Standard Rate

$60 per week





Best Value Rate

$200 for all 4 weeks

Discount will be applied after purchase by our team in the form of a refund


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