Discover: Sandboxes


The Nova Scotia Sandbox Project is a joint project hosted by Nova Scotia universities and community colleges which focuses on providing support for post-secondary students to develop enthusiasm for and pathways to innovation.  

Sandboxes are collaborative collision spaces across Dal’s campus which bring together multidisciplinary teams to develop ideas and innovative solutions to important local and global problems.

There are currently four Sandboxes:

  • ShiftKey Labs, hosted by the Faculty of Computer Science
  • idea Sandbox, hosted by the Faculty of Engineering
  • Cultiv8, hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture
  • Surge, hosted by the Faculty of Science

Sandbox Discover Program

In addition to a variety of workshops, events, activities and programs, the Sandbox Discover Program is an ideation and innovation program for post-secondary students in any degree program.  

Discover is a guided approach to innovation at the earliest stages through the Sandbox Discover program. The skills and insights gained through the program are transferrable across disciplines and will allow you to bring an innovation mindset to everything from academic group projects, current and future workplaces or potential startups. Structured as a series of six extra-curricular workshops, we will focus on understanding why you need to fall in love with the problem, not the solution; to understand people before pitching an idea; to build confidence in your creativity, and what it means to be innovative with different people. The program will wrap up with a final design challenge that will allow you to bring all the pieces together.

World’s Challenge Challenge.

Participating in the Sandbox Discover program is also a great way to prepare for the World’s Challenge Challenge. This international competition asks student teams to propose ideas that could have a positive impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems.

A local Dalhousie competition – to determine what team of students will represent our university at the international finals in June – starts in early December. The Sandbox Discover program can provide you with the opportunity to deeply understand problems and the people they impact.  Our program is also a great place to meet other students and build a WCC team. We’ll provide additional coaching to WCC teams who emerge from our program and want some feedback on their application to the competition.