On October 17, 2018, a meeting was held at Riverside Secondary school during lunch for SHAD”, a four-week summer enrichment program all across Canada. SHAD is for students interested in being changemakers through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts. SHAD is an immersive program of lectures, workshops, projects, and activities that offers exposure to unique ideas and experiences; students at SHAD get to hear from experienced professionals in different fields of work

My takeaway from my experience was my changed perspective. Although you are quite small as a person in a huge world, you can still make a large impact. Caitlin Shyng


SHAD has 17 different campus partners all over Canada that are involved in bringing the program to students. The program has 950 participants during July of every year, according to their website shad.ca.

Grade 12 student Caitlin Shyng, who was involved in SHAD at the McGill campus the summer of 2018, said “The first thing that comes to mind about SHAD is the family and community; it almost was a home away from home because of how great the community was. You get to meet everyone and have in-depth conversations, a lot of them became mentors to me, said Shyng.

Caitlin Shyng sporting her SHAD hoodie.

Grade 11 student, Liza Belskiy, who is considering joining SHAD this summer said she was interested, and thinks the program is a great opportunity to meet new people across Canada and find new ways to think ‘outside the box’ with creating ideas and making a change.                                                      

“You would be able to figure out more of what you’re interested in and what you want to do with your life; you can build connections that will help you in the future,” said grade 11 student Natalia Dzwinka, another Riverside student who is interested.

Shyng said the biggest highlight of SHAD is the workshops and hands-on experiences which lead up to a business competition. One of the beginning workshops that Shyng experienced was learning to properly brainstorm and accepting all ideas that come to mind. People often discredit their own ideas, but those ideas can lead to opportunities.

“My takeaway from my experience was my changed perspective. Although you are quite small as a person in a huge world, you can still make a large impact,” said Shyng.

In addition to SHAD there are various enrichment programs offered in BC with ranging prices. Simon Fraser University offers a two- week AI Scholars program at their Burnaby campus for grade 11 female students. The program works to grow the diversity in the AI field with team projects, industry field trips, and mentors. The University of Victoria also offers Science Venture programs for youth from grades 1-12. The programs offer hands on engineering and technology learning opportunities and challenges through workshops, after school clubs, events, and more.