Encounters with Canada

Holy Redeemer is no stranger to having unique programs that go beyond the classroom. Whether students are showcasing their artistic talents, demonstrating their athletic skills or becoming leaders in our community, HRH is proud when our students take an interest in what goes on beyond the walls of the school. So when a student travels across the country to take part in an activity, you know they must be passionate about the subject

This past February, grade 11 student Zach Olchowy traveled to Ottawa with the Encounters with Canada program. This program is a federal program that involves students from across Canada to join together for a week-long adventure in Ottawa. These excursions happen weekly throughout the year and cover a specific theme.

“My theme was Science and Technology,” says Olchowy. “And I got to say it was a ton of fun.”

When asked how he heard about the program, he mentioned his older brother David took part in the program last year and was encouraged by his Social Studies teacher Pat Fogarty to take part. “Each year I encourage the students in my classroom to take part in program,” says Fogarty. “They had the program when I was in high school and it was such a positive experience that I want our students to experience it as well.”

Throughout the week, the students travel to the many sites in Ottawa including the Parliament Building and the Governor General’s House. Other such attractions they visit include a number of museums including the Museum of Nature and the Aviation Museum. “The Museum of Nature was my favourite,” says Olchowy. “They had real meteorites, which were really cool.”

According to Olchowy, the best part about the trip was meeting a lot of new friends from across the country with similar interests. “We’re all there because we love science and technology,” he says. “Knowing these are the people that will be leading the way in this field in the future is pretty amazing. And I can honestly say our country’s future in science is in good hands.”

When asked if others should consider attending future Encounters with Canada excursions, Olchowy had this to say, “Go! It’s totally worth it. You meet a lot of really great people from across Canada and it gives you the opportunity to learn a lot more about what we’re studying. Honestly, it’s probably going to be one of my favourite memories from high school.”