Top students tackle Shad summer projects

Fifty-two top math and science students from Canadian high schools will gain some insight into the lives of people with visual impairments this summer as they participate in the Shad Valley Program at UBC.

Students will develop a product or service to help people with visual impairments as one of two major projects they will undertake.

A second project involves the creation of a product or service that will promote appreciation or awareness of the natural environment.

The program's theme this year is Ways of Seeing.

The Shad Valley Program immerses some of Canada's brightest young minds in the world of science, technology and entrepreneurship. Students are selected for the program on the basis of their academic achievements and leadership potential.

Shad Valley Director Alice Cassidy said the program is supported by the public and private sectors in Canada and other countries who place students in jobs for the month of August upon completion of the Shad program.

"One of the best things about the program is that it shows students that they can do a variety of things with the skills they have. Many enter the program with the idea that they will become a doctor or engineer. We show them ways to use their skills to the best of their abilities and to do a variety of things," said Cassidy. "They learn that they can be an architect and a writer, or a doctor and a researcher."

While at UBC, the students participate in a variety of workshops and lectures touching on subjects ranging from the Internet to earthquakes to biomechanics. Workshop titles include: Evolution of a Technology Business; Cooperation, Competition and Group Processes; Music Metamorphosis; DNA Detective; and Wildlife Biology among others.