Shad Canada inspires and empowers youth to explore their potential and build meaningful connections with a pan-Canadian community to solve problems through STEAM and entrepreneurship. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is an important partner in pursuing that mission, with a shared belief that when you provide opportunities to help youth dream big, including those who might not otherwise have them, you unlock a wealth of potential and innovation.
Each summer since 2010, the NWMO has actively engaged in Shad programs by providing informative lectures and workshops on nuclear power and how we can responsibly and ethically manage the waste it produces. Participants walk away amazed by what they’ve learned, their curiosity piqued about a segment of STEAM that few have had the opportunity to engage with. By sharing the strategies and complexities of this STEAM challenge, the NWMO generates important conversations about the future of Canadian energy and how we navigate a path to a clean energy future.
“The focus of our work at the NWMO – building a deep geological repository for the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel – is multi-generational in nature,” said Lisa Frizzell, the NWMO’s Vice President of Communications. “It’s a project that will be implemented over a period of about 175 years. So, investing in the next generation of thought leaders is incredibly important to us, both professionally and personally.”
The NWMO has also played a crucial role in helping Shad reach students who might otherwise have fewer opportunities to engage in STEAM content. The NWMO’s work has taken place in remote areas of the country where they make deep, valuable connections within the community and share the excitement of Shad’s hands-on STEAM experience. For example, one of the NWMO’s field teams was responsible for introducing several Indigenous youths from remote Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan, to the Shad program and extending financial supports to ensure their access to the opportunity. As Shad continues to expand its impact, these connections are invaluable to ensuring Shad is accessible to all communities, regardless of location.
Every year, 1 in 3 Shad participants receive financial support to help reduce barriers for those wanting to participate in the program. Since 2010, the NWMO has contributed close to $500,000, much of which has helped deserving youth benefit from Shad programs and the supportive Shad alumni network.
“One of our commitments to the communities we work with is that this project will improve their well-being,” said Lisa Frizzell. “We’re proud to help equity-deserving youth access these amazing educational opportunities.”
As we approach the launch of Shad 2023, we are grateful for the long-term partnership with the NWMO and their consistent commitment to Shad participants and programs. As industry innovators, the NWMO understands the importance of nurturing the next generation of visionaries and problem solvers. We can’t wait to see what the coming years of partnership have in store!