Science & Technology

SciTech 101: Getting involved at McGill

With over 230 clubs at McGill, finding the perfect match may seem like a daunting task. Luckily for the burgeoning scientist or technology buff, there are plenty of opportunities at McGill to foster one’s enthusiasm for research, technology, medicine, and so much more.


For the star-struck space cadet: Astro McGill

A student-led organization whose main goal is to make astronomy accessible to the public, Astro McGill provides various opportunities for those interested in astrophysics and astronomy to cultivate their love for space.

Notably, the organization hosts“AstroNights”—public events that include talks given by professional astronomers or McGill professors—followed by night-sky observations using portable telescopes. “AstroNights” occur on the third Thursday of every month, and those interested can attend the next one on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in the McIntyre Medical Building, room 522.

Besides these family-friendly talks, AstroMcGill also hosts “Astronomy on Tap” events, inviting students to grab a beer with professional astronomers. These monthly gatherings at various Montreal bars feature a short astronomy presentation followed by trivia, games, and prizes.


For the super-coding feminist: McGill Women in Computer Science

Making up only 27 per cent of the students in their major, women in computer science have to stick together, and McGill’s WiCS club offers a chance to do just that.

Notably, McWiCS hosts a mentorship program they call “CSter,” which pairs incoming first-year women in computer science with older students or PhD mentors. Mentors provide guidance and advice, and are matched based on interests, personality, and goals.

In addition, the club holds introductory workshops exploring applications of computer science in gaming and cryptography, as well as interview preparation for job applications.

Recently, McGill Women in Computer Science ran a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised enough money to send two women to the Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest tech gathering for females in the world.

McWiCS will be hosting a hackathon next semester and is looking for new members to join their team.


For the adventure-seeking pilot: McGill Students’ Flying Club

Those dreaming of taking flight need look no further than the McGill Students’ Flying Club. With varying levels of dedication, the club is perfect for everyone: From those seeking a one-time thrill, to those who wish to get their pilot’s license.

The Flying Club’s “Pilot for a Day” events are hosted twice a semester and allow students to soar over Montreal for discounted prices. The next Pilot for a Day will take place at the beginning of October, and those interested should attend the club’s info session on Sept. 19 in the McConnell Engineering Building.

People who catch the ‘flying bug’ can further explore piloting through Ground School. These on-campus classes are geared towards making aviation education more accessible to the Montreal community and allow interested students to aquire their piloting license. Currently, the club offers courses for the Private and Glider Pilot Licenses, which would allow one to fly single-engine prop planes and gliders respectively.

The Flying Club also offers its members the opportunity to skydive, either outdoors from heights up to 13,500 feet, or indoors using a wind tunnel during the winter.

These three clubs are only a small sample of what McGill has to offer sci-tech-crazed students. The only way to find out which organizations are right for you is to get out there, get involved, and get excited about what McGill has to offer.

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