June 24, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University will welcome 64 Grade 10 and 11 students from across Canada – and one from the United States – from July 5 to 30 as part of the inaugural Shad Laurier program, which aims to build high-potential high school students’ skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), as well as entrepreneurship.
Laurier is one of 16 Canadian universities participating this year after becoming a Shad Canada university partner in 2019. About 1,000 high school students from coast to coast, and some from abroad, will take part in virtual workshops, lectures, panel discussions, group work and virtual field trips over 20 days through both their assigned university and Shad Canada.
“For me, Shad was an intellectually stimulating and challenging program, but also an environment where we got to meet and work with fellow students from across the country. I am very excited that we are able to create that experience for students here at Laurier and am exceptionally proud of the program the team has put together,” said Kenneth Maly, vice dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Science, Shad alumnus and co-chair of the Shad Laurier steering committee.
Shad Laurier students will work in groups to study and discuss a real-world problem, which will be announced across the country on the second day of the Shad program. Students will learn from Laurier professors working across disciplines to better understand the topic from a variety of angles and perspectives. At the end of the 20-day program, students will present solutions to the problem in front of a panel of expert judges.
In past years, Shad student participants have been asked to consider questions including how Canadians can better manage waste and how to become more resilient against natural disasters.
Through the 20-day program, Shad students won’t just learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and business, they’ll also develop important soft skills, including problem-solving, critical-thinking, leadership, communication and presentation skills. They’ll also make connections through team-building events.
“The first group of Shad Laurier students has so much to look forward to,” said Sunny Wang, co-program director and associate professor in the Department of Mathematics.
“They’ll learn from Laurier’s world-class experts and be challenged to think outside of the box on important, real-world issues,” said Dana Montgomery, co-program director and senior recruitment coordinator at Laurier. “They’ll also build confidence, make friends and, most importantly, have fun.”
Traditionally, the Shad program takes place over 27 days in July, with students staying in university residences across the country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has moved online. The change means that some of the program’s activities, including keynote lectures, can be shown to students across Canada in real time.
Keynote speakers include Eden Hennessey, Laurier’s manager of student equity, diversity and inclusion and the research and programs director at Laurier’s Centre for Women in Science; Chantal Petitclerc, a Canadian senator and gold-medal winning Paralympian; Arthur McDonald, a Nobel Prize winner and professor emeritus at Queen’s University; Toni De Mello, a human rights lawyer; and Frances Donald, the global chief economist and global head of macroeconomic strategy at Manulife Investment Management.
Planning the Shad Laurier program has been a collaborative effort with contributions from faculty, staff and community members across the university. The Shad Laurier Program leadership team includes co-program directors Sunny Wang and Dana Montgomery; Joshua Dolman, Shad program experience manager and a local high school teacher; and Ron Daniels, program coordinator at Laurier’s Science Maker Lab.
About Shad Canada: Shad Canada offers a STEAM and entrepreneurship program for students in Grade 10 and 11. The non-profit organization is dedicated to using its strength in science, leadership and community building to empower young leaders to follow their passions, to learn and grow, to break down boundaries and expand outside of their comfort zone, to engage with new and exciting concepts, and to be adaptive to tough and challenging times. Shad Canada has 19 campus partners, a network of 18,000 program graduates and has been running STEAM programs since 1980. Learn more at shad.ca.
About Wilfrid Laurier University: Wilfrid Laurier University excels at educating with purpose. Laurier’s holistic approach to learning integrates innovative programming with hands-on experience outside the classroom to ensure Laurier graduates are not only future-ready but are inspired to leave their mark on the world. Community is at the heart of all we do. Laurier inspires students to engage in campus life and the broader community, leading to high levels of student satisfaction and engaged alumni who carry the Laurier legacy throughout the world. As a community of researchers, leaders and educators, Laurier builds knowledge that serves society and creates connections that have a lasting impact. Learn more about Laurier’s more than 20,000 students in nine faculties and a federated university college at wlu.ca.
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