Shad Valley program draws high-achieving teens from across Canada and beyond
Forty-eight high-achieving high-school students from across Canada and abroad have gathered at McMaster to embark on an exciting summer adventure.
For the next four weeks, these bright teens are living in residence to attend the Shad Valley program, taking advanced lectures on science, engineering and technology while learning how these disciplines can be fused with entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.
The program provides a unique opportunity for students to work together in groups to enhance their teamwork and leadership skills.
McMaster is celebrating 15 years of hosting the Shad Valley program.
"It's a proud moment to have reached this landmark. We are inspired each summer when we meet the new group of remarkable Shad Valley students," says Chad Harvey, Shad Valley McMaster co-director.
"At Shad Valley, high school students are immersed in an academically rigorous environment that motivates them to reach their full potential," says Harvey, an assistant professor in the Integrated Science program. "Our focus is on how teamwork and cooperation bring about success, as well as on problem solving and critical-thinking skills that transfer to real-world applications."
Shad Valley provides high-school students with a pre-university experience to learn about campus life just as they are starting to make decisions about the future. Participants learn from McMaster faculty members and attend workshops and seminars led by business leaders from the community.
Recreational activities and visits to local cultural attractions add another dimension to the curriculum. The program culminates in an entrepreneurship competition where students are placed in groups to create a new product or service, write a business plan, build a prototype and present their ideas to an industry panel.
Shad Valley also takes students beyond the classroom for excursions on and off campus, to locations that include McMaster's nuclear reactor and the Alpine Tower on campus, and to waterfalls and other off-campus sites along the Niagara Escarpment to study unique ecosystems.
Participants in the not-for-profit Shad Valley program are selected for their high potential in the fields of science, technology and engineering, while demonstrating strong leadership abilities and a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Selected from some 1,000 applicants, 549 students across the country were chosen this year through a process that takes into account exceptional academic standing, as well as community involvement, volunteerism and extracurricular activities.
A financial aid package provides assistance to successful candidates who need support for their participant fee. Once admitted to the program, students are assigned to one of 10 host campuses across Canada.