A different kind of summer school


In this past Saturday’s edition of the Globe and Mail, I came across an advertisement for the “Quantum Crytography School for Young Students”. I freely admit to having only the vaguest notion of what quantum cryptography is. I think it might be the thing that keeps my credit card number safe when I get convinced to download yet another “season” of Angry Birds. Or,…maybe not? Nonetheless, the ad caught my eye and it got me thinking about the many possibilities for enrichment that our students have, particularly, but not exclusively, in the sciences. In addition to sounding über-cool (“Let me tell you about quantum cryptography…”), these kinds of opportunities give current high school students a sneak peek into the exciting academic world that thrives on university campuses around the world.

When they take part in a summer “school” like this, not only do students get to find their way around the university campus, but it also can open a window to the many post-secondary subject areas there are, most of which are well off the radar. I can honestly say that I have never recommended a student select quantum anything as their intended field of study! However, just today, one of our students told me that nanotechnology engineering is his intended major (another area that defies explanation for me) and he happens to be one of the students who did a summer science program last year on a university campus in Ontario.

What else struck me about the Quantum Cryptography School ad? I turned the page and there, right on the back of that ad, was the SMUS advertisement. How fitting is that: the school that provides outstanding preparation for higher learning and for life, back-to-back with the opportunity to take part in an (inexplicably) cool enrichment program.

If you want to know more about enrichment activities, there are many US based ones listed on Naviance under the “Colleges” tab in the Family Connection. In addition, the University Counsellors have information about opportunities in Canada that SMUS students have enjoyed in recent years.

Alison McCallum
Alison McCallum is Head of University Counselling at SMUS and one of the Academic Advisors.