If the answer is no, this is one blog you should read. I’m here to tell you, you might be missing out on a great opportunity to help your students reach their full potential and for your school to benefit the way thousands have across the country.
I personally owe a lot to SHAD. I attended the summer program in 1991 at Acadia University when I was 18. Never before had I been with such a large group of like-minded peers. Everywhere I turned was someone just as curious and interested in learning as I was! That didn’t happen all that often at my high school and it pushed me in new ways. The program introduced me to new subjects we never studied in high school - oceanography, biotechnology, genetics, and so much more! SHAD was my first opportunity to work on a software team and I fell in love with it. I discovered a university major – computer science – that fascinated me and ultimately this led to a satisfying and challenging career as a software developer working for large telecommunications companies such as Nortel.
Kyle is pictured here second from the left at SHAD in 1991, preparing to drop an egg-protecting device
The entire SHAD experience was truly so life-changing that I jumped at the opportunity to give back to SHAD in 2013 and to help other young Canadians see and reach their potential.
I now have two roles at SHAD. Each summer I am a faculty member at SHAD’s UBC campus where I mentor students and run workshops on software, math, photography, and bird watching, which is another of my many passions.
During the school year, I tour Canada to promote SHAD as one of our outreach coordinators. It’s a great way to see the country, connect with diverse people, and find diamond-in-the-rough students who would be great SHADs.
My goal is to ensure that every Canadian high school educator and student knows about the SHAD enrichment program. Perhaps you know a student or two to recommend. I’d love to hear from you! We look for students with great potential who have a passion to learn and to make a difference in their community and beyond. At SHAD, students learn not just science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics, and entrepreneurship, but important personal and life lessons. It's the pre-university experience of a lifetime but the opportunities don't end when participants leave their campus. There are internships, scholarships, campus clubs, network opportunities, and venture capital funding that are only available to SHAD Fellows.
Some high schools have many SHAD applicants every year but others, particularly in rural and more remote parts of the country where SHAD isn’t as well-known, haven’t ever had an applicant, and that’s a shame. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is to present SHAD at a school that has never had an applicant and watch as those students are offered a place, attend the program, and come back a new person. When they return to their high school, they can’t wait to tell their younger classmates to apply, and they complete the SHAD virtuous circle!
It is one thing to know how SHAD impacted my life but it’s another thing entirely to see firsthand how much all 60 students who attend each of our 13 university campuses grow in only one month.
I’d love to visit your school and give a short presentation especially if you are at one of the schools I highlighted above with little SHAD history. You can reach me at email@example.com. There is no application fee and an extensive scholarship and bursary program is available to ensure that no student is ever turned away due to finances. Maybe one of your students will have their life changed as much as mine was by SHAD!
Kudos to Bill Morneau, Canada’s finance minister, and Government of Canada for producing a budget that prioritizes youth skills and innovation.
SHAD is a huge supporter of public policy that encourages Canadian youth to grow as innovators, entrepreneurs, and social change-makers.
Federal #Budget2017 does this, for example, by showing strong support for female entrepreneurship - good news for any organization, like SHAD, that has 60% female participation in our STEM-based entrepreneurial programming. The budget also supports enhanced educational opportunities for low income youth and more work-integrated learning initiatives so youth can access excellent work experiences early in their careers.
The goal of policies like these — and the goal of SHAD, as highlighted in the federal government’s “highly skilled and resilient Canadian workforce” agenda — is straight forward. Equip tomorrow’s leaders with entrepreneurial and STEM skills — along with soft-skills like team-work, communication, and thinking outside the box — to ensure they thrive in a dynamic and hypercompetitive 21st century global economy.
Going forward, we’re optimistic that the government’s youth innovation agenda will also include a strong focus on delivering early, deeply immersive STEM-based experiences that are accessible to all qualified Canadian students.
At SHAD, we provide this opportunity every summer to students from across the country.
Every year SHADs are given a theme or social problem — last year it was food insecurity in Canada — and in just one month they have to work in small teams to devise a product, create a business and marketing plan and working prototype to address the problem. Some have started global companies, and some have patents for their products. But the main goal is to get these students thinking there are no limits and they can make a difference either here in Canada or around the world.
The results are dramatic and easy to see.
SHAD has produced a Rhodes Scholar for almost every year it’s been in existence.
Three of the 26 Members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Advisory Panel are SHAD Fellows.
2 of the 72 finalists among thousands of contenders to be Canada’s next astronaut are SHAD Fellows.
And over the past three years, SHAD has seen close to 60 per cent of its participants in its STEM focused program as females.
We look forward to working with governments and partners across the country to scale this impact for Canada.
As SHAD continues to expand our program by bringing on new campus partners across the country — right now we have 13 from coast to coast — we’re making sure our approach reflects the principles of inclusive growth. We’ll keep working with governments to make sure our program is accessible to every qualified applicant, especially in remote and more marginalized communities. Canadian youth from every community and background deserve the opportunity to feel their full potential. There is a huge economic cost to Canada if they don’t.
Budget 2017 takes some great steps toward these goals. We’re look forward to engaging and supporting these goals now and in the months and years to come.
2016 was a tough year. Many icons passed away and the news seemed to suggest the world was spinning out of control. But working at SHAD you see 15,500 reasons to remain hopeful for the future. Here’s a review of 2016 for SHAD by the numbers.
For the third straight year, a record number of youth applied to be part of the program and to join our network of change makers.
We had about 1,900 applications, close to a 30 per cent increase in youth looking to join the program to reach their potential.
2 new Rhodes Scholars for SHAD.
That makes 32 SHADs who have gone on to receive Rhodes Scholarships -- almost one for every year SHAD has been in existence. That’ a pretty phenomenal track record. This year’s Rhodes Scholars say SHAD had a direct impact on them developing confidence in their abilities and is one the keys to why they are now making an impact on the world around them. More on this story coming soon.
We’ll soon celebrate our many success stories including our top 16 stories for 2016. If you are a SHAD alum or Fellow, make sure to vote.
The Federal government has recognized that students who specialize in STEM or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) will fuel the new economy. We are happy to see how the government has said it will make innovation a key part of its budget in the New Year. And SHAD reaches students at a critical age while they are still in high school and helps them develop an entrepreneurial and innovation mindset. In fact in 2016, third parties recognized SHAD for its contribution to Canada and for developing Canada’s competitiveness by coaching exceptional high school students to reach their potential as leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
60 per cent of SHAD participants for the past three years have been females helping breakdown any gender barriers.
SHAD now has 15,500 alumni striving to make a better place
With the addition of a 13th host campus at Ryerson University in 2017, 750 students will participate in the program in 2017. That’s another record! As we enter 2017 and an era of rapid change or disruptions, we’ll have 750 more SHADs who can lead the way.
November 15th is National Philanthropy Day – a day to raise awareness of philanthropy, and say thanks to those who make contributions to promote the welfare of others, help the planet, or acknowledge an organization that enhanced their life. The list of causes is vast, but the number of donors is declining. One reason is a lack of understanding of who’s a philanthropist, and what an act of philanthropy is.
Philanthropy is the love of humankind, and the desire to assist others. A philanthropist is someone who expresses their love by giving - gifts of time, expertise and resources to help others.
We sometimes think only of monumentally large contributors as philanthropists. When asked to name a philanthropist, Bill Gates or Melinda Gates or Canada’s Seymour Schulich may come to mind. We think of the size of their gifts, versus the intent, meaning and wishes behind them.
The truth? You likely interact with philanthropists every day. Anyone who cares, and helps by giving, is a philanthropist. Reconsider your definition of a philanthropist. And acknowledge yourself as a philanthropist if you have given to help others. Count yourself among heroes! Your participation – not the amount of your gift – is what really matters. As we learned when we were young, it’s the thought that counts, especially when it comes to philanthropy.
The most meaningful gifts I have been part of (giving or receiving) are not necessarily the largest or most impactful. They’re the gifts that are extremely heartfelt, are a personal sacrifice, and make incredible statements of beliefs, passions, and care. They’re the gifts that transform people – the beneficiaries AND the benefactors.
To all SHAD’s donors, thank you. You can be proud of your contributions. On National Philanthropy Day, we celebrate you for making the world a better place.
Wendy Zufelt-Baxter, Vice President, Advancement at 3:28 PM
September 2nd marks my final day at Bhole IP Law (That’s pronounced Bholé - imagine the accent aigu on the e) a boutique intellectual property law firm located in the heart of Toronto.
Getting to the firm on my last day was typical; I got off my train from union station, bought a Green Tea Frappuccino from Starbucks, went up to the fourth floor in a glossy metal elevator and entered the office. After going through the sticky notes I had posted on the wall and catching up on firm emails, I was ready to start my day. But just then, our law clerk came in, her enthusiastic personality radiant, and wished us a happy, happy last day. A bittersweet feeling instantly washed over me as I realized that my month at Bhole IP Law was truly coming to an end.
Working at Bhole IP Law is very different from working at other summer internships. I have the unprecedented opportunity to work closely with three amazing lawyers who also have degrees in science or engineering, a sassy and delightful law clerk and two other wonderful SHAD interns from Lakehead and Waterloo respectively.
My experience at the firm has been invaluable. I’m personally very interested in software and web development and was given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects from developing a new website for the firm to managing search engine optimization as well as managing social media, from which I became known as the Twitter Master.
Apart from working with the most remarkable people, I was very lucky to come into the firm at a time when everything was dynamically changing. During the past couple of weeks, the firm went through a totally new rebranding. We were also at the CNE Innovation Garage, and although our booth was absolutely hectic to get ready for, the garage, which was full of startups, turned out to be an incredible experience for budding entrepreneurs like me. Alongside work, we played hard as well. From a rad summer ping pong party to a final lunch together at The Works, my journey here has been so much more than I ever imagined.
My summer at Bhole IP Law in one for the books. I have gotten so much out of the projects and I have developed a deeply profound appreciation for the people that I have worked with. It was fantastic, thank you.
Many high school students who are considering medicine as a possible career path have a general sense of what it’s about.
“Of course,” said Dr. Krishna during our last meeting, “nobody really knows what it’s like until they get there, but I hope this experience gave you a better idea.”
Suffice to say, it certainly has.
Throughout the month of August, I have had the chance to contribute to a form of research I haven’t heard about: Quality improvement. Southlake Regional Health Centre had implemented changes within perioperative system, and my particular task was to collect surgical procedural data for further analysis.
Aside from getting very familiar with Microsoft excel, I have also had the opportunity to witness surgeries in the OR and be present in physicians’ discussions. Even with his busy schedule, my supervisor took the time to answer all my questions and explained to me the relevance behind every decision.
Though I was introduced to various problems in our healthcare system, I was also blown away by how caring, skilled, and supportive everyone is at Southlake. I am very grateful to have had this wonderful, insightful experience.
My internship was not what I expected. When I read the description and it said “engineering in a lab with a focus on rocks and soils”, I was super excited, I pictured lab coats, fume hoods, and white walls. The reality was much different. My job was to wash soils and aggregate in a wash sieve and then place them in an oven to dry. I learned a lot about how an engineering consulting lab works.
The amount of work each day is based on the amount of contracts that come in the previous day. Each sample is carefully labeled with contract numbers and sample numbers to avoid confusion. While waiting for more samples to wash, I occasionally watched other jobs in the lab. There were people splitting soil into measured amounts, and people measuring the density of asphalt. It was a really eye -opening experience to the behind- the-scenes aspect of engineering.
When I first received the email that I had been accepted for an internship at Communitech, I was anxious yet eager! All I hoped for was that this internship would give me an opportunity to learn something new.
All my expectations have been met and surpassed, I have learned so much in the short span of just one month. From the very first day, I have received the chance to work in various departments at Communitech. From working with the small startup group to the IT department, I have gotten to explore different working environments and job types. However, my main job is to help input data into a program called Salesforce. This is essentially a program to communicate with the business’s customers, it gives you the ability to set up campaigns and enlist all contacts.
My favorite part of this internship is the working environment and friendly people. Essentially, Communitech is set up as a hub where various different startup groups and small enterprises come to work and innovate. The building is quite interesting, as it was built in an old leather factory. There is a slide, ping pong table, and even a basketball court within the Communitech office. Also, there are always events happening throughout the building. For example, just recently I got to attend a workshop about girls in tech, where we discussed methods to increase the number of females you choose to study in STEM fields and pursue a career in technology-based jobs.
Overall, this one month has been an amazing experience where I have gotten the chance to explore and learn more about job opportunities that exist after high school. I have also gained a new set of skills. I am very grateful for this opportunity and sad that this month has quickly come to an end! Interning at Communitech has been an unforgettable experience that I will cherish for the rest my life.
For the past month I have been interning at Technip, a France based subsea engineering company. Technip is a multinational, world-class company that carries out project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.
I have been working out of the Technip office located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador with the department that focuses primarily on Dynamic Analysis. What that means is we determine if the risers and umbilicals Technip uses for its clients will survive instillation, environmental factors, and much more. To do this we have to run many programs and check to see if factors such as utilization, tension, friction, and other forces will negatively affect the risers and umbilicals. If the these factors are too large or too small, we must come up with a way to fix it which can take days of thinking of a solution.
For the month of August I assisted engineers with different projects. I was tasked with things such as figuring out how much mass and volume a buoy should have to float at a 200 metre drop from an FPSO, and to run programs on my computer using a program called OrcaFlex.
The St. John’s office has a great sense of community and I always felt welcome. The people here were amazing and the help they provided me was invaluable. Tomorrow is my last day and I’m sad to go, but this experience has been once in a lifetime and I wanted to thank SHAD and Technip for giving me the best summer ever.
I started my internship at Robot Playtime on August 2nd, immediately I met a fellow SHAD and discovered that we would be working together for the month. The staff of Robot Playtime are very kind, dedicated and passionate about robots. They were very encouraging, answered any questions and taught us so many things. Robot Playtime is a startup company that produces robot kits and they have a huge emphasis on teaching kids how to program and the fundamentals of robotics. Robot Playtime uses smartphones and tablets as a method of programming your own interactive and affordable robot. Working at a startup was very informative and was relatable to the DE (design + entrepreneurship) project at SHAD.
Everyday was very unpredictable and a surprise. Working at Robot Playtime gave me so many different opportunities to explore many different aspects of a startup such as programming, debugging and fixing their code, building and fixing robots, recording tutorial videos, and helping out at a workshop. Through building and fixing robot kits, I learned so much about the circuitry and the hardware of the robot. I learned a lot about app development and web design through debugging their code.
Working at a startup company has many benefits, such as being able to implement your ideas into the product and seeing the development cycle. I had very flexible hours and since there was always so much work to do at a startup, I can choose what task I wanted to work on. The huge difference between school and this internship was the way that you think and problem solve. At school it is more memorizing information, while at an internship you find resources that help you make an informed decision to solve a problem.
Overall, working at an internship was an enriching and unforgettable experience. Now that the month is over, I am going to miss the wild life of a startup company. Robot Playtime was definitely the best company to intern for.