Combine math with art, become more eco-literate, or learn to build a drone via Capilano University’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Explore an expansive array of programs including Liberal Studies, Engineering, Creative Writing, Applied Behaviour Analysis, and more. After all, university is all about trying new things, while advancing your education and career opportunities.

We’ve compiled a list of seven innovative courses offered at Capilano U. To learn more, head to the school’s Arts & Sciences Open House on Thursday, February 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. in North Vancouver.

Math and the Creative Arts

Often we forget that math was historically considered an “art form” by musicians and artists. Capilano U, instructor Lisa Lajeunesse was inspired to create the Math and the Creative Arts class to restore that idea. MATH 300 teaches you to use math as a tool to study and create works in music, literature and visual art. Lajeunesse finds that students are receptive to how connected the two subjects are. “Some of them love the musical examples, others respond to the visual art or the literary examples,” Lajeunnese explains. “Others are interested to see how the same math content can connect to topics as seemingly diverse as a French novel from the 1970s and classical music from the early 20th Century.”

DRAWN! The Art of Graphic Novels, Memoirs, Histories

If you marvelled at the artistry and storytelling in graphic novels like Art Spiegelman’s Mausor Alan Moore’s Watchmen, then take a stab at creating your own graphic short story in thisArt History course. Through a study of graphic fiction and autobiography, instructor Sandra Seekins teaches students how to effectively tell stories visually. You’ll create a visual journal and a graphic short story, learning the essentials to create a masterpiece. You’ll discover what’s crucial to the story, what can be omitted, which dialogue can be cut from the original and how to set the appropriate mood. Last but not least, you’ll learn how to convey emotions through gesture, facial expression, and font choice.

Autism Spectrum Disorders I + II courses

Students in the Bachelor of Applied Behaviour Analysis (Autism) program learn about human behaviour with focus on autism. Autism affects one in 68 children, making it more common than Down’s syndrome, pediatric AIDS and childhood cancers combined. The fall session’s Autism Spectrum Disorders I course provides an introduction to autism. You can learn about the common characteristics of individuals living with the condition, the diagnostic process, and its prevalence and etiology. The follow-up course in the spring features guest lecturers from across the Lower Mainland who discuss their personal experiences and intervention techniques.

Robot

Programming with Robots

If you were obsessed with Robot Wars and wondered about the technology of its hack-slashing characters, you’ll love this Computer Science class offered at Capilano University. Using the Lego EV3 platform, students learn programming and the mechanics of operating a robot. Working through fun and challenging projects with their robot models, students learn problem-solving and C programming. Each week, student teams are challenged to make their robot do something specific— perform a sequence of actions, make decisions, do multiple actions at once and even communicate with another robot.

Engineering Design with Drones

It seems like drones are everywhere these days, and now you have the opportunity to operate one. In this first year engineering class at Cap U, instructor Mark Wlodyka teaches students to assemble, program, and launch a fleet of drones. The objective: assess the hypothetical location for a 50-foot cellular radio tower. Student teams work long hours flying their test models. They also fly their drones through mazes, look into permits, and, at the end, present a 360-degree view at a high altitude.

Eco-Literacy Field School

Cap’s Eco-Literacy Field School is the perfect match for anyone who’s passionate about the environment. You’ll be introduced to the principles and organization of natural eco-systems so you can transform your knowledge into policy changes and sustainable practices. Students travel to the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island to engage with community leaders, government, First Nations people, and NGOs, which provide an unparalleled opportunity to participate in policy discussions. Students will keep a reflection journal, build a species list and talk to community specialists to learn the fundamentals of eco-literacy through an experiential lens. This three-credit, 300-level field school will be offered May 30 to June 10 this year.

Grad

Build your own degree with Liberal Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program lets students design their own interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree based on their academic interests as well as evolving educational and professional goals. Recent grads now have careers in education, law, financial planning, and the culture industries.

In years three and four, upper-level students hone their interdisciplinary thinking through a series of interrelated courses that explore different themes from a variety of perspectives each term. For example, when sustainability was the focus, students took courses in literature and the environment, conservation psychology, global eco-politics, and more. Upcoming term themes include community, power, security, and revolution.

This story originally appeared in the VanCity Buzz.