The Catalyst Summer Program is a 2-week program that offers a unique, interdisciplinary approach to the “traditional leadership program”. Drawing from the University of Waterloo’s strengths in engineering, science, and innovation, high school students develop leadership skills within a community and problem-based context - with real opportunities to put new skills to practice!
The Catalyst program, and especially the volunteer placement with ESQ camps, really helped build my confidence, leadership, and independence.
The opportunity to build, test, research, present and collaborate on projects rooted in Engineering design, business and entrepreneurship and research. Visit labs and research space on campus, attend talks and workshops from Graduate students and Faculty. The Summer program provides the opportunity for participants to gain experience practicing design thinking and problem-solving learning how to build ideas into a business and use their technical skills!
The Catalyst Summer Program is only open to current high school students (entering grade 10 or higher) and each applicant must submit an application in order to complete registration. Each session will be restricted to approximately twenty-five students.
Space is limited to 25 spots per session (75 total) and applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis.
Please note that this program is not an overnight program.
If you are coming from another city and/or require accommodations:
1.Learn more about overnight accommodations at St. Paul's College (Link is for 2019 information, 2020 information may change)
2. If you are accepted in the program, we will send you a link to a Room Booking Information form which you can use if you are ready to book.
Below you'll find the general sessions schedule for Summer 2020:
You will have the opportunity to write your preferred sessions in your application. If you are accepted into the program, you can choose the available session that works best for you within our registration system on a first come, first serve basis.
Information regarding overnight accommodations will be provided upon acceptance. For more information, please contact us!
The Catalyst Summer Program costs $619.48+HST and includes one participant T-shirt. Bursaries may be available for those in financial need. Please contact us for more details.
Please note: The registration fee of $619.48+HST is due only upon acceptance into the program. If accepted, applicants will receive an email which provides information about using our registration system and paying the registration fee. There is no application fee for this programs.
Acceptable payment methods:
Catalyst accepts MasterCard, VISA and American Express as well as Debit cards (non-Interac). Card numbers are kept with the utmost security. All charges are processed directly by the university and will appear on your credit card bill as either "U of W Cashiers Office" or "U of Waterloo ESQ (Engineering Science Quest)".
We do not accept cash or cheque payment.
Credit Card and debit payment must be made through our online registration system, we are not able to process payment on the phone or in person.
Applications for 2019 are now closed. 2020 applications will open November 27th, 2019!
Summer Program applications will be considered in three rounds. After each round's cutoff date, we will notify all applicants of their status . If you are not accepted in a round, you will still be considered in the subsequent rounds. We recommend getting your application in as soon as you can in order to be considered in more rounds! Please note, we must receive the complete application (all 3 parts) before an application will be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure we receive all pieces of the application.
Cutoff Dates for Consideration
All applicants will be updated on their application status in the days following the below cutoff dates. We appreciate your patience as we evaluate applications