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REF NO.: 205

SUBJECT: Shad students showcase new safety products
DATE: Aug. 4, 2003

Some of the country's top high school talents are hoping the products they invented at summer camp could make them household names. Last month Memorial University hosted 50 high school students as part of the internationally-acclaimed Shad Valley program. On July 24th during the program's Open Day event, the aspiring apprentices showcased their new products.

"This year's theme was children's safety," said Bonnie Simmons, director of Shad Valley Memorial. "Displays ranged from House of Hazards, a game designed to teach children ages five and up about safety in the home to Kanga Dry, an apron style towel which offers a protective pouch for holding a baby fresh from the bath." Another prototype was a heat sensor device that attaches to household appliances. When the appliance is too hot for a child to touch, the heat sensor emits an orange light.

The four-week Shad Valley program incorporates entrepreneurship with engineering, information and communication technologies, mathematics, science and other disciplines that may be unique to a particular campus. Throughout the program, student groups were required to develop a new product idea that relates to the theme, create a prototype and a business plan. Students then showcased their inventions at Open Day.

From the Open Day exhibits, the Guardian Knife Block was selected as the most promising project. The product looks like a typical knife block but it has a safety lever on the side. Knives can only be removed if the lever is simultaneously held down while removing the knife. A team of 10 students from across the country, including Newfoundland and Labrador's own Jason Gedge, of Fairbanks, developed the product. The team will now move on to the RBC/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup to be held in Toronto in October.

The national competition will showcase the top projects from each of the 10 participating Shad campuses and judges will select an overall winner. More than 500 people will attend the national competition and the exposure helps position the new products to be the next big business idea.

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