Meet Max, a Virtual High School student who has been accepted into the International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario.
The Perimeter Institute is a leading centre for scientific research, education, and training in theoretical physics. Its mission is “To advance our understanding of the universe at the most fundamental level, stimulating the breakthroughs that could transform our future.” See the Institute’s captivating video below.
Max is a homeschooled student from Neebing, Ontario, a rural community just outside Thunder Bay. He has never attended a bricks and mortar school for any of his elementary or high school studies. His learning path has been an eclectic mix of carefully chosen curriculum materials and a variety of independent, self-directed learning experiences. When considering options for his high school courses, Max was reluctant to give up the homeschooling lifestyle he was accustomed to, as it provided him with the freedom to study what he was most interested in at his own pace. Max began adding math and science courses from Virtual High School to his portfolio in grade 10. Adding VHS courses to his routine has been a perfect fit as it allows him to be employed part-time and to take part in a variety of activities and opportunities outside school. For example, he was recently able to audit a second-year university philosophy course at Lakehead University.
While philosophy is one of his interests, pure mathematics and theoretical physics are his passions. Max has high praise for Virtual High School and his instructors. He hopes to complete a few more advanced math and science courses with VHS in the fall before moving on to post-secondary studies. Though he is not certain what his ultimate career path will be, he knows it will involve math and physics. For now, Max is eagerly looking forward to the experiences that await him at the ISSYP.
The ISSYP is in its 15th year and has an alumni of over 600 students worldwide. This prestigious program accepts only 40 students from across the world for their two-week summer program each year.
At the ISSYP, mini courses, key-note presentations, and mentoring sessions provide students with windows into the deep mysteries facing 21st century theoretical physicists. There will also be field trips to the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and to Sudbury’s SNOLAB underground science laboratory. Meeting students from around the world and being able to spend time learning within the Perimeter Institute will be unforgetable learning experiences for Max. Given that so few students are accepted for such programs, Max is thrilled to have this wonderful learning opportunity.
A message from VHS Principal Baker:
Max is one of VHS’s model students. He respectfully questions his online teachers on many aspects within his courses while at the same time being so positive in his dealings with teachers that they include comments such as “He was an absolutely pleasure to work with!” on his report cards. Max has communicated to VHS administrators about the interesting lectures made available to the public by the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo. He has a insatiable quest for knowledge, one that certainly places Max in the category of being extraordinary. Congratulations, Max, on your acceptance into the International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo where you will help forge new, mind-bending ideas about the ultimate nature of our universe–from space and time to matter and forces.
Thank you for sharing your story, Max! We wish you continued success in all of your endeavours.