July 26, 2012:Eleven high school students from Newfoundland and Labrador will spend their summer attending research-focused enrichment programs throughout North America as the result of an awards competition initiated by the Research & Development Corporation (RDC).

The RDC’s Research Inspired Student Enrichment (RISE) Awards, launched in 2011, provides high school students who achieve academic excellence with an opportunity to attend a recognized enrichment program in the summer. The awards aim to increase students’ knowledge of research-related education and career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics prior to post-secondary education.

“I congratulate these bright minds on their selection for these awards,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for RDC. “These students have a unique opportunity to learn from world-class researchers and scientists while exploring the fascinating worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I wish them well in their summer endeavours.”

In total, RDC is investing more than $72,000 in this year’s RISE Awards program.

The award recipients will attend one of three enrichment programs: Research Science Institute (RSI), Shad Valley and Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program (DEEP). Shad Valley is a four-week program held at 10 Canadian university campuses throughout the country, including Memorial University. DEEP is a four-week program held at the University of Toronto which offers pre-university engineering and science enrichment and research project design opportunities.

“The RISE Awards was created out of a need to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of those high school students who have the potential to be a new generation of R&D leaders,” said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer of RDC. “Our ability to strengthen and build Newfoundland and Labrador’s long-term economic performance relies on our ability to invest in, and recognize, the province’s future leaders today.”

Level II student Ioana Dobre of St. John’s has been sponsored to attend the prestigious RSI in Boston, Massachusetts. RSI is a partnership between the Center for Excellence in Education in McLean, Virginia, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which offers a six-week summer enrichment program emphasizing advanced theory and research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“I feel really grateful and honoured for this opportunity, especially since I am the first person from this province and country selected to attend RSI,” said Ms. Dobre. “I’ve always been interested in science and math, and I’m excited to interact with research teams and professors as well as other students with similar interests.”

The names and school districts of the 11 RISE Awards recipients are:

  • Erynn Button of Booth Memorial High School in the Shad Valley Program was awarded $5,850.
  • Ioana Dobre Gonzaga Regional High School in the RSI program was awarded $12,000.
  • Michael Gilbert of Stephenville High School in the Shad Valley Program was awarded $5,850. Clara Humby of Cloud River Academy in the DEEP Program was awarded $6,155.
  • Kaitlyn Jarvis of Marystown Central High School in the DEEP Program was awarded $6,155. Shaziana Kaderali of Booth Memorial High School in the Shad Valley Program received $5,850.
  • Michael Kennedy of Ascension Collegiate in the Shad Valley Program was awarded $5,850 Liam Long of Booth Memorial High School in the Shad Valley Program was awarded $5,850
  • Natasha Murphy of Corner Brook Regional High School in the DEEP Program received $6,155.  
  • Luke Parrott of Marystown Central High School in the DEEP Program was awarded $6,155.
  • Jared Trask of Holy Spirit High School in the DEEP Program was awarded $6,155

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For More Information: The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. In Budget 2012: People and Prosperity – Responsible Investments for a Secure Future, RDC was allocated $19 million to make strategic research and development related investments in people, research opportunities and infrastructure. For more information about RDC, go to www.rdc.org.

Media Contacts: Jeff Green, Manager, Marketing & Communications, Research & Development Corporation, 709-758-0973, 691-8892, jeffsgreen@rdc.org