On March 27, York University and SHAD executives joined for the public announcement that York University was being designated as a Canadian SHAD campus, joining the likes of Queen’s, Ryerson and McMaster universities. Including York University, there are 17 SHAD campuses in Canada. The delegation welcomed SHAD Fellows, executives and York University community members to the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence to celebrate the launch of the SHAD York campus.
Every July, approximately 950 of Canada’s best and brightest high-school students come together to experience SHAD’s unique experiential learning program rooted in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) fields. As part of the SHAD experience, participants are given a complex issue and are tasked with finding innovative solutions collaboratively over the course of the 27-day enrichment program that happens over the summer months. This experience echoes the experiential education York University aims to deliver its students, instilling self-confidence, entrepreneurial and workforce skills, and a network for life into all participating students.
“In education overall, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields in particular, the world of work and learning is rapidly changing. As a school, we are committed to remaining on the forefront of this change,” said Jane Goodyer, dean, Lassonde School of Engineering. “As a newly appointed SHAD campus, we are honoured to provide what will be for many an introduction into the exciting, ever-evolving world of STEM and entrepreneurial education.”
Inside and outside the classroom, SHAD builds on the STEAM foundation, introducing participants to a multidisciplinary program that offers exposure to big ideas, unique experiences and often leaves students with unique global perspectives. Andrew Maxwell, Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship at the Lassonde School of Engineering, said he agrees with Goodyer that the shared values between SHAD and York University make this opportunity even more exciting.
“The goals of SHAD include educating Canada’s change-makers and fostering interest in STEM and entrepreneurship at an early age,” said Maxwell. “We are so exicted to join SHAD as Canada’s 17th campus because their goals are closely aligned with Lassonde’s Renaissance Engineering curriculum, which aims to educate beyond the technical and foster diverse interests in fields like art, business and law.”
Upon completing the program, participants are designated SHAD Fellows and become respected members of SHAD’s network for life. SHAD Fellows are described by the organization as being leaders and change-makers committed to the values of community, diversity, creativity, responsibility and excellence. They create positive change where they live, study and work, across our country and around the world.
A further link between SHAD and York University is Lassonde’s Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (BEST) program, which, while based at Lassonde, has links with Schulich, Osgoode, Innovation York, and faculty and students across campus. As a program, BEST offers a unique evidence-based approach to entrepreneurial engineering, building multidisciplinary teams and a culture that embraces and learns from failure.
Tim Jackson, president and CEO of SHAD Canada, is confident that the resources and facilities the Lassonde School of Engineering and York University can provide are key to making SHAD programming a success for participants.
“Here, we will have access to lots of open lab space, flexibility in terms of rooms and a ton of design workshop space,” said Jackson. “It’s really going to be a special experience for students who will get the opportunity to experience Lassonde, York University and Toronto while they are here in the summer.”