Beyond the lecture rooms, laboratories, and study halls, a community of science enthusiasts is waiting for you. U of T is home to over 1,000 student groups across all three campuses, with a grand portion of them dedicated to highlighting different areas in science!
Science clubs on campus range from program- or course-specific to non-specific organizations dedicated to showcasing fields or topics within Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine (STEMM). These clubs are often looking for new executive members, casual members, and volunteers at their events.
Here is a list of some science clubs and organizations at our school!
For starters, chances are a program you are interested in or are already enrolled in has a student union. Almost every program has a student union available, which makes it impossible to list all of these amazing clubs. Student unions are student-run organizations that plan activities, provide networking opportunities, and eventually create a community of students in similar fields. Student unions are especially useful for students who are seeking mentorship from upper-year students for topics ranging from study habits to research or job opportunities.
You will generally find that student unions focus on community building among their students. For example, the Human Biology Students’ Union in St. George is dedicated to creating a community for students in a Human Biology program. The union hosts student events for those interested in research and working toward medical school. It also hosts other academic and social events to support its students. Take advantage of its mentorship program — either as a mentee or mentor — to socialize more with upper-year and incoming students and to learn from each other!
Other examples of student unions include the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate Union; the Physics Students’ Union; the Astronomy Union; the Economics Students Association; Chemistry Students’ Union; and the Psychology Students’ Association.
Science advocacy and outreach organizations
On the other hand, some science clubs aim to create an impact on their local communities and educate their audience.
The U of T Trash Team, associated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, leads cleanups across the GTA to alleviate plastic pollution while increasing waste literacy. During certain times of the year, undergraduate and graduate students plan their own cleanups while creating outreach opportunities to educate people about nature conservancy and the joy of cleaning our environment. Similar organizations include the Green Up Initiative, Climate Justice UofT, EnviroCare Organization Eco (UTSC) and more.
Organizations such as A Moment of Science, Please! and Project START! Science focus on science outreach. A Moment of Science, Please! is a UTSG organization where members discuss recent research directly from researchers at U of T in a podcast. Meanwhile, at UTSC, Project START! Science seeks to spark interest in elementary school students through hands-on learning modules and fun experiments.
Other organizations from the likes of the Science Communication Club and Science Rendezvous want to educate non-experts on scientific breakthroughs or publications and to create large outreach events that promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) awareness.
Innovation and engineering
Engineering and technology clubs at U of T are also spaces for students who want to make an impact on their community. The Aerospace Team allows students to embark on several innovative design projects as they traverse the field of aerospace engineering. The team fosters a welcoming environment for members with an interest in technology, policy advocacy, and community outreach.
The U of T Hyperloop Team (UTHT) and ThinkL’Out are also both clubs that bring technological advances to our community. The UTHT is a group of dedicated students, professors, and researchers with a common goal of designing and engineering hyperloop-enabling technology that wants to design the future of sustainable and fast transportation. Meanwhile, ThinkL’Out brings students together to explore the world of virtual reality and the metaverse, to ask open-ended questions, and to foster a sense of community.
Medical field and mental health
It is not news that the medical profession is the end goal for many students majoring in a science field. Thankfully, there are several clubs supporting students entering the field of health. Aspiring Physicians of Tomorrow at UTM brings together students from minoritized communities who want to enter the medical field. Its network supports undergraduate students by connecting them to medical students, doctors, professors, and more through workshops and opportunities.
If you’re looking to get involved in supporting the healthcare field more directly, check out the University of Toronto chapter of Hemoglobal, which aims to improve the medical care provided to children with fatal blood diseases through campaigns and fundraisers. Students will get to act as a helping hand to the mission of Hemoglobal in bettering the lives of vulnerable children.
With so many science student groups available at the university, a description of each one could fill this newspaper! Feel free to search for more information on all available student groups on the Student Organization Portal, found at sop.utoronto.ca.
Despite the vast range of clubs at U of T, you might be in a position where you can’t find the club you were looking for. Take this as the opportunity to be a founding member and leader of your own club and to create a home for students seeking the same thing!