News at the University of New Brunswick

Students from across the country to benefit from enrichment program

Author: Communications

Posted on Jun 29, 2012

Category: UNB Fredericton , In the Media

Sixty remarkable high school students from across the country have descended on the University of New Brunswick’s campus in Fredericton to embark on an exciting summer adventure.

For four weeks in July, the teens are living in residence at UNB to attend the Shad Valley program, taking advanced lectures on science, engineering and technology while learning how these disciplines can be fused with entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.

The program is a unique opportunity for students to work together in a group-oriented environment that enhances their teamwork and leadership skills.

“Shad Valley participants at the University of New Brunswick experience a wide range of exciting, challenging and life-changing activities. They’re exposed to everything from building robots that compete against each other to opportunities to visit world-renowned biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, geomatics and other science labs,” says Dr. Dhirendra Shukla, Shad Valley UNB program co-director and associate professor and chair in technology management and entrepreneurship in the faculty of engineering at UNB. “Also on the agenda are meetings with acclaimed scientists such as Norman Whitney who received the Order of Canada for his contribution to our nation as a UNB professor of biology, forestry and environmental management.”

Shad Valley provides high school students with a pre-university experience to learn about campus life right when they are starting to make decisions about the future. Participants learn from outstanding UNB faculty, and attend workshops and seminars led by business leaders from the community.

Recreational activities and visits to local cultural attractions add another dimension to the curriculum. The program culminates in an entrepreneurship competition where students are placed in groups to create a new product or service, write a business plan, build a prototype and present their ideas to an industry panel.

“There is even more to Shad Valley than classroom academics and entrepreneurship. An exciting aspect of the program is that students learn about science while visiting some of New Brunswick’s beautiful landscape,” says Alison Howells, Shad Valley UNB co-director and program development officer at UNB. “We visit the iconic Hopewell Rock and hike in Fundy National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, while learning about the world’s highest tides. Our activities promote cooperation and teambuilding, so participants improve their group skills and problem-solving abilities.”

Participants in the not-for-profit Shad Valley program are selected based on their high potential in the fields of science, technology and engineering, while demonstrating strong leadership abilities and a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Selected from some 1,000 applicants, 549 were chosen this year through a process that takes into account exceptional academic standing, as well as community involvement, volunteerism and extracurricular activities. A financial aid package provides assistance to successful candidates who need support towards their participant fee. Once admitted to the program, students are assigned to one of 10 host campuses across Canada. The experience inspires them to reach new heights of excellence as they pursue their educational and career aspirations. 

About Shad Valley

Celebrating 32 years of excellence in 2012, Shad Valley provides a transformational experience that unleashes the entrepreneurial and innovative potential of exceptional youth. Hosted in July at 10 top universities across Canada, the Shad Valley program is an intensive month-long enrichment program for high-potential secondary school students. They live in campus residence and attend workshops and lectures that focus on science, engineering, technology and entrepreneurship. They also enjoy team-building exercises and recreational activities that create a strong sense of community. Shad Valley’s close to 12,000 alumni are outstanding achievers that create a strong network for program participants. More information is available at

To arrange an interview with one of the program co-directors or the Shad Valley students at UNB, contact Rita Parker at or 506-453-3540.

To arrange an interview with Shad Valley, contact Lysianne Buie at 519-884-8844, ext. 234 or