This August, we met with our 2018 recipient of the Sean Jackson Scholarship at our local Waterloo Branch. Advait Maybhate is an impressive young man whose passion for all things STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – shines through his every word.
The Meridian Sean Jackson Scholarship is an annual $10,000 award designed to recognize an Ontario high school graduate who has demonstrated both academic excellence and an outstanding commitment to community, including community initiative, innovation and impact.
As the founder of CMS (Computer, Math, Science) League, Advait developed an after school program for grade 6 students with the goal of getting youth excited about STEM education. This nine week long curriculum covered various topics in biology, chemistry, computer science and mathematics. The program was offered for free at a local elementary school in Waterloo where Advait and some of his close friends from Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School would come in and cover these lessons.
Advait is determined to popularize these topics by introducing them at a younger age. By taking advanced concepts and applying them to everyday scenarios, not only was he able to significantly reduce barriers to understanding - he was able to engage forty grade six students with topics that would have many adults running for the hills. “It was really important to show them the practical application of these learnings – it was incredible to see grade six students grasping such advanced concepts when given the opportunity,” expressed Advait.
In addition to his work as the founder of CMS League, Advait also started JAMHacks – a 12-hour hackathon that was geared towards high school students. Having competed in several university hackathons himself as a high school student, he and his fellow student executives from the Computer Science Club knew that this was an opportunity to take their youth engagement learnings and apply them to their peers. The hackathon was so successful that they ran it for the second time in 2018 and doubled its length and student participation.
In September, Advait will be continuing his education at the University of Waterloo, pursuing a degree in computer science. As for his future? “I see two potential paths – one is the industry route and the other would be teaching.” The industry route would provide an opportunity for Advait to play an active role in the creation of new technology that can better the communities in which he lives, and communities all around the world. That said, Advait would love to be able to give back and share his knowledge with others, the way many of his mentors – such as his parents and his teachers – have done for him.
Advait is an impressive intellectual with passions for helping others and spurring innovation. His compassion and care, coupled with his academic perseverance, not only makes him one of Ontario’s brightest, they make him an excellent teacher and mentor to the youth in his community.
When asked what advice he would give to youth interested in STEM, Advait encouraged youth to focus on the practical applications. “In traditional classroom setting, youth aren’t exposed to the practical applications of STEM. The practical applications are what stick with you and make learning easier and a lot more fun.”
On behalf of our employees and Members, we congratulate Advait Maybhate for his inspiring commitment to community impact and innovation which made him the 2018 recipient of the Meridian Sean Jackson Scholarship.
Meridian's Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship is an annual $10,000 award designed to recognize an Ontario high school graduate who has demonstrated both academic excellence and an outstanding commitment to communities of their own, including community initiative, innovation and impact among Ontario youth. Learn more about the scholarship.
Check out Meridian's Youtube Channel for more of our conversation with Advait.