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Vol 40  No 6
November 22, 2007


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Shad Memorial takes cup
by Kelly Foss

Shad students celebrate win.

This summer, Dr. Leonard Lye’s spare keyboard went all the way to Waterloo, ON, and came back with the RBC/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup.

The director of Shad Memorial’s equipment became the prototype for a kinematic keyboard, a self-powered, wireless computer keyboard.

“Like most wireless devices, the kinematic keyboard runs off conventional battery power, but its internal battery is self-sustaining and does not require replacement,” said Dr. Lye. “Small electromagnetic generators under each key convert the kinetic energy of each keystroke into usable electricity, which is used to charge the keyboard’s battery, instead of relying on wasteful disposable battery power.”

The prototype was designed by the 48 students who came to Newfoundland and Labrador this summer to participate in the Shad Valley enrichment program. For one month, students from Grades 10 to 12 lived in residence at MUN, one of 12 such host university campuses in the country.

During that time they heard from top-notch lecturers and seminar leaders in the fields of math, science, engineering, technology and entrepreneurship. Their afternoons were devoted to hands-on lab workshops – everything from learning how to wire a house to dissecting body parts. What spare time they had was set aside for recreational activities, touring local attractions, and completing the house project. Using the theme Zero Waste Technology, the students were divided into groups, each coming up with their own project to meet the theme’s criteria. The overall winner was chosen to represent Shad Memorial at the RBC/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup.

The triumph marks the second consecutive win for Shad Memorial who actually tied for first place with Trent University. Carleton University came second, followed by Queen’s University. The project received other awards including first place for best application of scientific principles; second place finishes for best website, best prototype and best business plan and a third place nod for best use of external resources.

“I think what impressed everyone was that the prototype actually worked,” said Dr. Lye. “All of the projects in the competition were incredibly innovative, even though they were created by high school students. I can see a number of companies interested in picking up some of these ideas.”

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