Nicholas Carbonara doesn’t go to university until 2019, but the Grade 11 student at Denis Morris Catholic High School will get his first taste of campus life in July, when he spends a month at the University of New Brunswick participating in the global SHAD program.
SHAD is “an award-winning enrichment and entrepreneurship program and network that empowers exceptional high school students to recognize their vast potential.” Nicholas will be one of just 900 students from around the world who will participate in the month-long SHAD program at one of 16 campuses across Canada. While in Fredericton, he and his fellow UNB SHAD fellows will participate in a number of activities aimed to help them have a better understanding of their areas of interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Technology.
Nicholas will be in New Brunswick from July 1-27, working with his program colleagues on the same task presented to others across the country. He and the students he participates with will work collaboratively to find ways to make a difference in the world and develop an entrepreneurial mindset by creating innovative solutions to a complex issue. They then have the opportunity to compete against each other to see which school had the best solution to the problem. In addition to the intensive SHAD program commitments, he’ll also get a chance to explore Fredericton and the surrounding area. But for Nicholas, it’s mostly about what will come to life on campus.
“I’m excited to be challenged by the various professors and the lab activities they set up for us,” said Nicholas of the lectures, labs and working groups students will participate in during the experience. “I’m also looking forward to having the experience of living on campus, staying in residence and getting used to early morning classes like in university.”
Nicholas developed an interest in design and engineering early.
“Since I was a little boy, I was interested in how things work and operations and such,” he said.
Nicholas joined the DM Robotics Team in Grade 9, and that same year he was one of a part of a team Denis Morris Catholic High School entered in a competition by hosted by the Professional Engineers of Ontario – a privilege usually given to students in Grades 11 or 12. Their win over other high schools across Niagara inspired him to continue on a path towards a career in engineering.
“I’m looking at Biomedical Engineering at maybe the University of Waterloo, McMaster or U of T,” he said, “but I’m also thinking about Mechanical Engineering. Hopefully this SHAD opportunity will help determine the type of engineering I want to do.”