RDC launches awards program for high school students

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Keith Hutchings. — Telegram file photo

The Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development Corp. (RDC) has launched its 2013 Research Inspired Student Enrichment (RISE) Awards competition.

The awards will provide up to 15 high school students in the province with an opportunity to attend a national or international enrichment program next summer. The awards are open to students who consistently demonstrate academic excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and who will be completing Level II by June 2013. This year’s deadline is Nov. 8, 2012.

“These students are about to make some critical decisions in terms of post-secondary education that will impact their career paths and research interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for RDC. “I challenge our province’s principals, teachers, parents and guardians to encourage their highest-achieving students to apply for these awards, as they are designed to provide students with experiences that could significantly contribute to their careers.”

Last year, RDC received applications from school districts across the province resulting in 11 high school students receiving a RISE Award. These students attended programs in Canada and the United States this summer, learning from innovative scientists, researchers and teachers.

“Opportunities provided through the RISE Awards enhance the quality programming and teaching offered as part of the K-12 school system in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Education minister Clyde Jackman. “To be selected for a RISE Award is a tremendous achievement and I strongly encourage students to apply for these awards. The knowledge and skills they gain will benefit them throughout their school days and beyond.”

As Newfoundland and Labrador continues to diversify its economy, RDC has been mandated to identify potential leaders in the research and development (R&D) community.

 “There is considerable interest in our RISE Awards from all over the province,” said RDC CEO Glenn Janes. “The RISE Awards is a program designed to cultivate a new generation of R&D leaders, build a culture of innovation and strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy for the future.”

Meanwhile, building on the success from last year, RDC is supporting a new enrichment program this year. Students on Ice is an award-winning program which provides students with education and research opportunities through a ship- and land-based Arctic expedition. RDC will fund a maximum of two students to attend the program next year.

In addition to this, RDC will continue to sponsor up to two Newfoundland and Labrador Level II graduates to attend the Research Science Institute in July 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. A partnership between the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) in McLean, Virginia, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Research Science Institute offers a six-week summer enrichment program focused on advanced theory and research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Successful RISE Award recipients will also be chosen to attend Shad Valley and Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program (DEEP).

Shad Valley is a four-week program held across 10 Canadian university campuses, including Memorial University, which centres on bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics research and entrepreneurship together. DEEP is a four-week program held at the University of Toronto which offers pre-university engineering enrichment and research project opportunities.

Further details on the supported enrichment programs, awards structure, deadlines and applications are available online at www.rdc.org.

Organizations: RDC, Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development, Research Science Institute Center for Excellence Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of Toronto

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, United States Shad Valley Arctic Boston, Massachusetts McLean Virginia

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