A local Grade 12 student at John Paul II Collegiate got an early jump on university this summer by taking part in the Shad Canada program.
Bridgitte Campbell took part in the program last summer in Prince Edward Island. Shad Canada is described in a news release as a “STEAM” – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – entrepreneurship program for Grade 10 and 11 students.
Campbell was encouraged to apply by her mother, and ended up being the first student from John Paul II to be accepted to the program. The program attracts students from all over Canada.
The program is held at some 20 universities across Canada and Campbell chose University of Prince Edward Island, where she spent a month last summer.
“Every day we had different learning experiences, so we some had some experiments, we got lots of lectures from different university professors and students,” said Campbell. There were also fun activities, including going camping one weekend and to the beach the next.
“We did a bunch of different learning activities that were cool learning experiences that you normally didn’t get to learn in school,” Campbell said.
One of those was her main project.
“After the first week, each year they have a different design topic,“ said Campbell. “The one when I went was reducing waste in Canada.”
That meant creating a business product and making a prototype, which was presented to community judges afterwards.
Her group’s project was developing a plastic repair kit, coming up with a non-toxic and clear glue to repair toys and plastics.
“Basically all the products out there right now are toxic,” she said. The goal behind this, she said, was that if a plastic product had a crack of it, instead of throwing it out and buying something new “you just fix it, because it’s non-toxic.”
The entire experience gave Campbell a first-hand experience on what she expects university to be like next year. Campbell plans to go to University of Saskatchewan next year.
“The days were set up so you were kind of in university,” said Campbell. “It was a really good opportunity, I think, to see what university will be like. It was also just really cool to meet other people who kind of had similar interests and who liked higher-level learning.”