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2010 Shad Challenge asks Students to Design for Canada's Aging Population

(June 28, 2010 - Thunder Bay, ON)  Today, Lakehead University officially welcomed some of the brightest young minds in Canada to Shad Valley 2010.  This year, astute Shad entrepreneurs will work to identify a niche that fills a specific need for the aging population. 

Shad Valley attracts international
students from Saudi Arabia
The Shad Valley program attracts students from across Canada and around the world. This year, two Shads hail from Saudi Arabia: (L-R) Taha Aljishi and Sondus Bellow.  

Over the course of their month-long Shad experience, students will leverage their scientific, engineering, and technological knowledge to design a product that benefits Canada’s older residents while also considering its economic, environmental, and social implications.

2010 Shads gather in Lakehead University's Senate Chambers where they are officially welcomed by University representatives.

Statistics Canada figures indicate the number of seniors across the country will almost double from 4.3 million to 8.0 million over the next fifteen years.  Since more than 40 percent of the nation’s working population is now aged 45 to 64, these baby-boomers will begin their departure from the workplace in 2011, resulting in a shift in spending patterns, housing, mobility, health, social support, and other issues of magnitude never previously encountered in Canada.

Shads will be exposed to local businesses in Thunder Bay, and will live in residence at Lakehead throughout the duration of the program. 

"The interesting part of this year’s theme is that Shads will be faced with realizing they too will age, and in so doing, may develop enhanced appreciation of the preferences of today’s seniors."

- Dr. Sultan Siddiqui, Director, Lakehead’s Shad Valley Program.
"At Lakehead University we educate students to think critically and independently.  Faculty and staff repeat this mission statement message with pride and it is central to the university's 'I think for myself'' campaigns.  I can’t think of a better way for prospective university students to develop their individual critical thinking than by working alongside our high-calibre faculty members.  And each year I delight in the break-away solutions the Shad Valley students invent when they work together to address key problems of our times."

- Dr. Laurie Hayes, Vice-President (Academic & Provost)


Lakehead University has been a proud Shad Valley participant since 1999

  • The Shad Valley Program is geared to developing innovative leaders of tomorrow
  • Grade 11 and 12 Shad Valley participants from across Canada and abroad are housed at 10 Canadian university campuses
  • Shad students are selected based on rigorous criteria that include their academic performance and community involvement
  • The Shad Valley program focuses on academic areas such as Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, Medicine, and Science
  • During the month-long experience, Shads attend presentations on various topics, participate in workshops, and complete projects in different areas
  • Local community and business leaders are often involved in workshops and seminars, and in judging Shad competition



MEDIA: For more information, please contact Heather Scott, Communications Officer, at (807) 343-8177 or, or Eleanor Abaya, Director of Communications, (807) 343-8372 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,700 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

Last updated June 29, 2010

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