In school, we are often told to go “above and beyond”, but what does that really mean? Well, it can mean a variety of things from connecting a literary project to modern events or taking the initiative to start scientific research. Throughout my school career, I have always tried to go “above and beyond” through science fair projects, organizing events and competing in competitions. Thus, I wanted to share a few opportunities I think are extremely valuable in building one’s self as a person and aid in discovering your passion:
• They foster a culture of innovation, allowing you to apply computer science concepts taught in the classroom to real world problems
• Meet like-minded individuals and make great new friends!
• Free swag and free food! Who wouldn’t want to go?
• I strongly believe everyone should give these competitions a try since it never hurts! These competitions allow you to test your problem-solving and logical skills
• In Canada, there are several mathematics competitions offered by the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) from the University of Waterloo in addition to the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge offered by the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)
Competing in science fairs offers the opportunity for you to explore a wide range of topics and create fun experiments to test your hypotheses. They also help improve presentation skills since you get “roasted” by a panel of judges, however the feedback is extremely valuable
Clubs offer the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, learn more about specific topics or create cool projects. If your school doesn’t have a club you want, then create one!
• SHAD is a month-long experience filled with fun! At SHAD, you get to attend thought-provoking lectures, make friends from across Canada and explore a new university campus!
• SHAD also helps you find a summer internship. Personally, I interned at Christie Digital, which was an awesome experience, providing insight into the world of software development.
This is great for people of all levels (beginners to experts) an allows you to contribute to open-source software.
Other great opportunities I would have loved to take, but I couldn’t due to one or the other reasons, include:
Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS)
• Summer program focusing on lectures and workshops regarding quantum cryptography
• Hosted at the University of Waterloo, offering you the chance to explore their campus
International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP)
• Summer program focusing on theoretical physics
• Hosted at the Perimeter Institute, a world-leading think-tan
Gene Researcher for a Week (GRFAW)
• Get matched up with a lab at a local university or hospital and work under the mentorship of professors/professionals to conduct research
• Focus on human genetics research
Advait Maybhate is a budding software developer and Schulich Leader Scholarship recipient who is currently pursuing a Computer Science degree at the University of Waterloo. Advait loves to attend and organize hackathons – winning prizes at hackathons such as WearHacks, Hack the North & MHacks, in addition to founding JAMHacks (held in 2017 & 2018) and helping organize StarterHacks 2019. He has won silver medals at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in 2017 & 2018 for bioinformatics projects involving the creation of algorithms identifying DNA motifs and protein-ligand binding sites. He has previously interned at Christie Digital Systems and North (formerly Thalmic Labs) as a software engineering intern. In high-school, Advait was the president of science club and executive of computer science club where he led and taught lessons/activities such as the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and object-oriented programming.