11 students named SHAD Innovators of the Year


Toronto, ON – October 26, 2017 – For the first time in the history of SHAD, the Waterloo, Ontario based enrichment and entrepreneurship program for youth, an 11-person student team among a cohort of 800 students has dominated the organization’s SHAD - John Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup.  The awards event is held every October to celebrate the best innovations developed by some of Canada’s highest-potential high school students.


The team known by the name of its innovation — Kameleon, which are roof shingles optimized to repel heat in summer and insulate your home in winter through a combination of paints including the key ingredient leuco dye paint — won in the four key award segments of best application of theme, best application of scientific principles, best business plan and best prototype, and ultimately was named SHAD Innovators of the Year.



Kameleon’s colour-changing technology turns the shingles white when it is warm outside, to reflect sunlight and keep consumers’ homes cool.  In the winter, the shingles turn black to attract the sun’s heat and keep the homes warm.


“I had no idea that if you brought a group of ten incredibly bright students together, you could actually come up with something together that could help reduce our energy footprint,” says Kameleon team spokesperson Saad Baig. He adds Kameleon is considering applying for a patent once their product undergoes testing.


The awards were presented tonight at a ceremony at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at Ryerson University in Toronto, one of the host university campuses for the July enrichment and entrepreneurship program.


Kameleon was part of the SHAD cohort at Carleton University in Ottawa. They were challenged to develop and pitch an entrepreneurial solution to “help Canadians meaningfully reduce their energy footprint,” in the words of the official theme held in common across all 2017 SHAD campus programs.


Every year as part of its summer program, SHAD provides hands-on learning around innovation by challenging the youth to develop a real-world entrepreneurial solution to a pressing industrial or social problem.


SHAD’s headline partner for 2017’s environmental theme is Ameresco, a leading provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities across North America.  Ameresco served as mentors for the students and helped judge the best application of theme category.


“We were amazed to see how these high school students could take such a big problem and hone in on an idea that could be a viable solution and do it all in such a short timeframe,” says Sam Boyajian, Vice President, Central Canada for Ameresco . 


The SHAD - John Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup is named after one of SHAD’s long-serving supporters who was passionate about youth and entrepreneurship.

“The idea behind our design challenge is to teach high school students the fundamental skills they need to be innovators and to give them the confidence to get going,” says Tim Jackson, President and CEO of SHAD.


“The students are given a safe space for hands-on learning where they learn to create an idea, fail and build something even better.  You can’t help but feel good about our future when you meet these young people and see what they are capable of achieving.”


Other award nominees included a group that was harnessing energy from fitness equipment; another designed a revolutionary in-pipe water heating system to reduce waste while another created a game where users have to design a sustainable city that helps educate people of all ages about their footprint and changes they can make.

SHAD recently announced the addition of three new campuses for 2018.  McGill University, Mount Allison University and the University of Prince Edward Island are partnering with SHAD.  This expansion will see the program at a record 16 universities from coast to coast.


SHAD is open to students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who live in residence, attend lectures and workshops offered by top faculty and community leaders and participate in field trips to see science and innovation in action.  There are recreational activities to round out the learning, all designed to help the students realize their full potential with other like-minded students from all over Canada.  SHAD is currently accepting applications for summer 2018 from now until November 20 at www.shad.ca/apply.


Upon completion of the program, SHAD graduates, or Fellows as they’re known, become connected to a network of 16,300 SHAD alumni including 32 Rhodes Scholars, and leaders in many fields across the country.  Two SHAD Fellows who sit on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council were on hand last night. Prior to the awards, Simone Cavanaugh and Alex Bouchard took part in a panel discussion moderated by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth) Peter Schiefke.  The interactive panel allowed the Youth Council members and Parliamentary Secretary to canvass the SHAD 2017 students for ideas for a new National Youth Policy that the federal government is currently formulating.




SHAD produces leaders for Canada through its award-winning, life-changing, pan-Canadian enrichment platform for high school students. Every year, SHAD helps 900 young Canadians tap into their full potential through an innovative month-long program at one of 16 partner university campuses. There, students apply STEAM (science-tech-engineering-arts-math) disciplines to real-life public policy and entrepreneurial challenges, forging insights and valuable relationships for life. Among its thriving global network of 16,300 SHAD Fellows and innovators are 32 Rhodes Scholars, 80 Loran Scholars, and 43 Schulich Leaders. For more information, visit www.shad.ca



Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE: AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for businesses and organizations throughout North America and Europe. Ameresco’s sustainability services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with Federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco has more than 1,000 employees providing local expertise in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com





For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Katie Kocher, Media and Public Relations Coordinator | SHAD

media@shad.ca | 519-884-8844 ext 234