Shad Valley Program in Full Swing at McMaster


MacShad attracts eager learners

Fifty-two enthusiastic teens, including two from Scotland, are participating in the annual McMaster's Shad Valley Program. The students, who arrived on Sunday July 2, will be introduced to university life, and attend lectures and workshops in the University's classrooms and labs during the next four weeks.

Known locally as MacShad, the summer program focuses on the integration of excellence, technology and entrepreneurship. It offers the high school students a university-based academic portion during July, as well as a work term in August. The students, who live in residence, attend workshops and lectures that utilize the diverse programs available here at McMaster including medicine, business, engineering, kinesiology, music and the social sciences.

Bob Loree, program director, says MacShad offers participants a variety of opportunities. “They get to meet other students with similar backgrounds and interests, and it's a chance to network.” In addition to the lectures, guest speakers and workshops, the program includes recreational and social activities, tours and camping trips. “It's a unique, intellectual venture,” Loree adds.

Seventeen-year-old Paul Cairney had no trouble filling in the campus-of-choice section on his application form. It's a lot warmer and drier here than in his native Scotland, he says with a grin. He's found the program to be exactly what he hoped for. “It's been brilliant. There is lots of variety; there is always something new and exciting to do.”

Mike Code, from Whitehorse, also likes being kept busy. Code, 17, is thinking of taking engineering and appreciates the exposure the program is offering to a variety of subject areas. “It provides basic knowledge and is giving me an introduction to different fields (of study).”

The focus of study this year is a business project under the leadership of Marvin Ryder, assistant vice president, Information Services & Technology. The students are being challenged to develop a project around the theme of crime prevention. Don Loree, of the Ottawa-based RCMP, is providing his expertise as workshop leader and resource person.

There is a fairly rigorous application process for acceptance into the program, explains Amanda Shanks, program manager. Students are selected based on, among other considerations, their academics and their community involvement. Applications are processed at the national offices of Shad International in Waterloo.

This is the third year for Shad Valley at McMaster, which is one of nine campuses across the country. Established in 1981, the program's goal is to provide participants with an appreciation of their true potential and encourage them to strive for the highest levels of achievement.