KDSS student accepted into summer enrichment program at McGill



By Barb McKay


Kincardine District Secondary School (KDSS) student Sheetal Gill will get a preview of university life this summer.


The Tiverton teen, who will enter Grade 11 in September, has been accepted into an exclusive summer educational program. SHAD is a month-long enrichment program that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). High school students from across Canada who are accepted into the program are placed at one of 16 universities across the county.


Sheetal said she heard about SHAD last year from one of her teachers. She applied in November 2017 and received her acceptance letter in March. She began her month-long program at McGill University in Montreal on July 1.


“I was interested in what they are offering,” she said. “I’m really interested in science and math and so that really drew me to it, as well as having like-minded peers. It’s a good way to interact with people.”


SHAD was founded in 1980 with the purpose of helping exceptional students reach their full potential. The program is open to students in grades 10-12.


Sheetal said she is particularly excited about being placed at McGill because of its excellent engineering program. She is interested in pursuing engineering through her post secondary studies, but has not narrowed down exactly what she would like to specialize in.


“Their (SHAD’s) goal is to educate people on the STEAM fields, it will help me specify what I want to do,” she said. “I think it’s a great opportunity, I can do this while I’m this young, and it will broaden my opportunities for what I can do in school.”


Sheetal is one of 60 students taking part in SHAD at McGill and the teens have set up a group chat to get to know each other and speculate about what the program will be like. They will get the whole university experience by staying in residence and taking in presentations in the lecture halls. The students will take part in workshops, labs and listen to keynote speakers.


While SHAD focuses on helping students advance their learning, it also makes time for fun. Sheetal has never travelled to Montreal and is also looking forward to seeing the city.


“SHAD is a balance of recreation and academics,” she said.


During the month, the participants will get to go camping and do some sightseeing.


“I’m looking forward to the university life – being in the lecture hall – and the social aspect of meeting new people,” Sheetal said.