Stewards in Engineering Education (SEED) Program at the Okanagan campus of UBC is putting high school students into research labs and igniting their passion for engineering.
In the summer of his grade 12 year at Kelowna Secondary, Gary Todd’s mom read about a new program at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering that might interest her son.
“At the time, I was undecided about whether I wanted to pursue engineering or nursing” explains Gary Todd.
Todd, who had never worked in a research lab, applied and was accepted into the SEED program.
It took him three days to get into a routine, but from there what followed was a total immersion into integrated optics where he was responsible for wiring semi-conductors and conducting testing of micro-lenses for small scale use.
“I learned so much” says Todd “and it really sparked a fascination about the fundamentals of engineering research.”
Todd was teamed up with researchers from undergraduate to graduate level to ensure safety, but also to provide context to what they were working on.
“From getting one-on-one time with a university professor to learning from students working in the lab, the experience with SEED really set me up well for my first-year at the University” adds Todd. “I was pretty sure that I wanted to go to UBCO, and this program reinforced that assertion.”
Jonathan Holzman, an electrical engineering professor who participates in SEED, says the program provides a unique vantage point for students to explore engineering. “Most people never get to set foot into a research lab, and providing these sorts of opportunities is integral to the next generation of researchers.”
The SEED program promotes engineering research and interaction for high school students. Students work on cutting-edge research projects with world-class researchers in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. For more information visit http://engineering.ok.ubc.ca/engineeringsummerprograms.html
Todd is now completing his first year of studies, and plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering with the intent to study medicine after graduation.