____ Friday July 8, 2016 ____

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STEAM

Top high school students to tackle how to improve food security for all Canadians

Waterloo - SHAD announced on July 7, 2016 its challenge for the best and brightest high school students from across the country to come up with new ways to improve food security as they participate in the prestigious program taking place from now until July 29 at 12 different host university campuses from coast to coast .

At SHAD, which was founded in 1980, students are immersed in an intense one month enrichment program focused on STEAM subjects : science, technology, engineering, art s and math. During the month of July , the s tudents are exposed to top faculty and big ideas at universities from across campus, and from visionary leaders in the community.

In one of the unique elements at SHAD, each year, youth are challenged to innovate to come up with an original product or service to help solve a current econom ic or social problem and this year it is food security. SHAD youth, working in small teams, collaborate to design and engineer a new solution that addresses the problem. As part of this challenge, teams conduct market research, write business and marketing plans, and design and build working prototypes. “ With Canada on the cusp of the 150 th anniversary of Confederation, the theme of food security is a serious concern , ” says Tim Jackson , President and Chief Executive Officer of SHAD. “ In 1867, al most every Canadian grew their own food; currentl y that nu mber is three per cent and that has brought with it some real challenges .

” SHAD has teamed up with a number of experts to help Canada’s top youth understand the multiple facets of this complex problem, including lead theme sponsor Maple Leaf Foods. "The stark reality that one in six Canadian children faces food insecurity is one of our most pressing social issues," said Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Public Affairs at Ma ple Leaf Foods. “Fostering innovative approaches to advancing sustainable food insecurity is one of Maple Leaf’s key social priorities. We are deeply committed to collaborating with diverse stakeholders who are working to reduce food insecurity. SHAD is do ing important work by engaging young thought leaders in this important issue. We hope that their solutions will be innovative and practical. We share SHAD’s belief that exceptional Canadian youth can use their talents to tackle complex social challenges."

The engineering challenge culminates in the SHAD - John Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup, SHAD’s annual national awards which will be handed out in Toronto on October 27. SHAD has served as an incubator for entrepreneurship and innovation and boasts 15,000 alu mni part of the impressive SHAD network including 30 Rhodes Scholars. One SHAD Fellow, Rameez Virji designed a new way to vaccinate people using a pill rather than a needle that stemmed from the design challenge his group faced in 2010. Virji is currentl y awaiting patent approval.

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