posted on July 5: MacShad 2001 students enjoy a taste of university life


Fifty-two outstanding senior high school students arrived at McMaster University this week — some from as far away as Scotland — for a month-long immersion into university life.

The program, known as Shad Valley — or lovingly by McMaster students and staff as “MacShad” — provides senior high school students that have demonstrated excellence in academics, recreation, leadership, and community involvement with the opportunity to expand their minds in the disciplines of engineering, science and entrepreneurship at the university level.

A typical day at MacShad starts at 8:30 a.m. with a university-style lecture and an intensive academic workshop followed by an afternoon of academic sessions and a recreational activity. Evening events feature guest speakers from the community, opportunities for artistic expression and time to work on a collaborative team business project. The goal for this year's teams will be to design, build, market and present a product or service that will assist individuals with disabilities. In October, the winning team from each campus will compete at the Royal Bank Shad Entrepreneurship Competition held in Toronto.

On Saturday, July 14, MacShad will host a MiniShad day for about 140 local high school students that will give them a chance to learn more about the program and McMaster University. This event will feature team-building activities, workshops, and guest speakers simulating a typical day at Shad.

Established in 1981, the Shad Valley program combines a university-based academic and recreational portion with a challenging August work term for about 60 per cent of participants.

For the past three years, McMaster has served as one of the host universities for the Shad Valley program, organized through the Shad International central headquarters in Waterloo.

Each year, about 800 students compete for about 450 spots available at campuses spanning the country.

Shad Valley's primary goal is motivational, to give participants an appreciation of their true potential and to encourage them to strive for the highest levels of achievement.