UBC Okanagan's School of Engineering seeks to inspire the next generation

A student working with tools in a lab
High school students have until May 17 to register for UBC Okanagan's SEED program. (Credit: Darren Hull Studios)
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UBC Okanagan engineering student Gurnoor Chawla knew she’d chosen the right educational path after an inspiring summer learning experience at the university while in high school.

Chawla is now a third-year electrical engineering student in UBCO’s School of Engineering (SOE), and she encourages the next cohort of high school students to follow in her footsteps and register for the Stewards in Engineering Education (SEED) Program this July.

“I’d been looking into engineering as a potential career,” Chawla said. “I enjoyed how realistic and hands-on it was. Connecting closely with professors and graduate students helped me learn skills and understand research in the field.”

Participants join in cutting-edge research projects with world-class researchers and graduate students in state-of-the-art facilities, all under the supervision of SOE hosts.

The free program is designed to be a springboard for students planning their education. Chawla is now a student ambassador for the SOE and speaks highly of the SEED Program.

She says stepping into the radioactive materials lab, seeing the electron microscope and interacting with the radioactive materials lab were among the most memorable moments of her SEED experience.

She especially enjoyed the intensity and the collaborative spirit between the students and says that helped validate her decision to study engineering at UBCO.

“Overall, the SEED program provides a very realistic and intensive understanding of work in university research labs,” she said. “It ensures you’re putting effort into the work instead of simply watching from the sidelines. Anyone interested in engineering should come in with an open mind and a will to explore because this is an amazing opportunity and a great way to create a strong network at UBCO.”

Dr. Jonathan Holzman, an electrical engineering professor and SEED faculty lead, says the program offers students a unique, hands-on opportunity.

“Many incoming students will have never seen — let alone actively experienced — a research lab before. SEED can help them better understand the research environment and the many engineering pathways as they make their post-secondary choices,” he said.

This year’s SEED program runs from July 22 to 26. Applications are open until May 17 and can be completed online.

To learn more about this engineering summer program for Grades 9-12, visit the School of Engineering's Outreach and Community Programs.

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