A summer of studies

St. Michaels student heading to Shad Valley at Memorial University in St. John's, Nfld.

St. Michaels University School student John Skinnider spends some downtime at Olive Olio’s in Cadboro Bay before heading to Newfoundland for the Shad Valley summer science program.

Cadboro Bay’s Jonathan Skinnider, 16, is giving up the lazy days of a teenaged summer  for four weeks of applied science in Newfoundland this month.

From July 5 to 31, the St. Michaels University School student – who is craftily leaping from Grade 10 to Grade 12 – is attending the Shad Valley program offered through Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld.

Science has been a focus for Skinnider at SMUS, which is why the Shad program stood out for him.

“I’m looking forward to the capitalist side of it, the way it ties business and project management into the focus and goes [beyond theory],” he said.

Skinnider was alerted to the Shad program by his elder brother, who attended it in 2010. About 620 students attend Shad Valley each summer, which is offered through 12 different programs at 12 universities across the country. The application was steep, including three essays, and was completed as of November.

Skinnider will stay in residence at Memorial, where he expects the workload to be inviting but also intense. They also participate in team-building exercises, recreational activities and visit tourist attractions. Those selected have top marks, a strong community focus and come from diverse backgrounds.

“Actually the (curriculum) is kind of a surprise, I’ve received limited information about exactly what we’ll be doing, though I do know at some point we go camping,” Skinnider said. “Mostly it’s morning lectures followed by afternoon workshops or project (work).”

The one-month Shad course should contribute a couple of credits towards Skinnider’s early high school graduation. During his upcoming Grade 12 year he hopes to add one course through accelerated entry at University of Victoria.



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