Astronaut touches down on campus

Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau helped kick off a month-long educational
program for 52 of Canada’s top high school math and science students this month
at UBC.

Students in the Shad Valley program and members of the public were treated to a
video and slide presentation by the famous Canadian space pioneer at UBC’s Hebb
Theatre. Afterwards, Garneau fielded questions from the audience.

Garneau made his second flight into space on May 19 for a 10-day mission which
showcased Canadian experiments and the use of the Canadarm, the Canadian-built
robot arm used to retrieve satellites. One of Garneau’s responsibilities during
the flight was to monitor a UBC-based study which looked at how zero gravity
affected the early muscle development of starfish embryos.

The Shad Valley program, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary at
UBC, 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 Canadian
businesses who place students in jobs for the month of August upon completion
of the Shad program.

Cassidy said one of the themes for this year’s program is Greening the

“The students will be working to solve real problems that face our community
from the planning of bicycle routes to overall green space allocation,” she
said. Cassidy added that the students will also design products aimed at
helping people with physical disabilities.