Esquimalt High student gaining STEAM experience this summer

SHAD program offers young people opportunities to practise innovation

While summer vacation has just begun, 1,000 students from across Canada, including Emily Doerksen from Esquimalt High, have just finished their first week at a month-long educational opportunity.

SHAD is an award-winning program focused on enrichment and entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). High school students from across the country are selected to attend the program at one of Canada’s hosting universities, though this year even more diversity is added as the program runs at 16 host universities from coast to coast. This year the program runs July 1 to 27.

Nine students from Victoria and the Gulf Islands were selected to attend, and Doerksen is stationed at the University of Saskatchewan.

“It’s been really interesting, and nothing like I have learned in school,” she said during a break from the program’s exercises. “We’re an amazing group of people, we’re so passionate about similar things yet we’re all so different.”

ALSO READ: GNS student first in B.C. to nab national science scholarship

Doerksen, who just finished Grade 11, first heard of the program from her cousin, who urged her to apply after having a great experience herself.

“I was so excited because I knew SHAD would push my limits in innovation, which I haven’t had a chance to do that at school,” Doerksen said.

In the first week, the 63 students on campus were divided into groups and given two smaller design projects focusing on helping people in northern Saskatchewan who lost their homes in a fire.

Some of the students gathered at the University of Saskatchewan for SHAD. (File contributed)

“We had to use designs with very limited supplies, and we’ve really been getting our ideas rolling with the project,” Doerksen said. “We’ve also had quite a few lectures that were very interesting on things like financial savings and how to be a good entrepreneur.”

The groups were also presented with a large final project that they will present at the end of the program, the theme of which is: building up resilience against natural disasters.

So far the experience has definitely met Doerksen’s expectations.

“Some of these exercises are really putting all of us out of our comfort zones, and I can already feel myself becoming more confident. I’m usually shy and don’t like sharing my own ideas, but in this group we can make amazing things we couldn’t do on our own.”

SUMMER FUN: Minecraft summer camps enhance STEM skills

After the program wraps up, students will join the ranks of nearly 17,000 other SHAD alumni. For Doerksen, this is a stepping stone toward her post-secondary studies.

“I want to pursue something within the field of science,” she said. “I’m not sure which one, and that is also a big reason why I wanted to attend SHAD, because it helps us explore different fields.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

Just Posted

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Saanich to hear update on regional sewage treatment plant

Likely subjects of presentation include fate of trees along Grange Road, costs

Canadian students are smart cookies

Canadian teachers also among highest paid in the developed world

Local fundraising initiative addresses tampon recall

Period Posse checking donations during 10-day campaign

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

Most Read