Riverside’s science Co-op program can help students explore new career options and provide opportunities for them.

The co-op program combines school and work experience into one. Students finish Math 11, Chemistry 11 and Physics 11 in less than four months, then work at a unique placement for three weeks. The program is available to students by invitation only: Science 10 teachers recommend students for the program and there are 30 spots in the course. Science teacher Ms. Debra Nordheimer is in charge of the program. “We are not necessarily looking for honor students, we are looking for good ambassadors for the school,” said Nordheimer.

In this program, students work with the same group during the semester. They have three classes a day and one block to do school work for the first three months of the semester; students then go to their placement to work for three weeks after Christmas.

The MV Researcher is a twin screw purpose-built trials vessel. She is fitted with a 10 ton lift crane and a 33 x 23 ft. (10 x 7m) hangar used as a workshop.

Students have unique opportunities to work at some interesting work places. Some examples are a Submarine Factory, a Pharmacy and a MakerLab. Grade 11 student, Tahir Nathani worked at International Submarine Engineering facility. “Currently at ISE we are working on a submarine that will be sold to the University of Tazmania. This sub will go up to 5km below the Antarctic ice. Also ISE is creating a submarine for the Japanese Coast Guard. Both of these submersible vessels are AUVs or Automatic Unmanned Vessel, which is what ISE specializes in,” said Nathani. He assisted the engineers in various capacities that relate to the construction of the submarines and created hundreds of cables that transmit data throughout the submersible vessel.

Grade 11 student, Benjamin Kwok worked at Maker Lab. “I get access to a huge amount of machinery that I wouldn’t have otherwise; I enrolled in all of the classes offered, which range from 70-100 dollars each and I got to take them for no charge.”

Grade 11 student Rawan Amara worked at Shoppers Drug Marts Pharmacy on Shaughnessy. Amara said the Science Co-op taught her so many things and enhanced her knowledge through academics and though exposure to everyday real life jobs.

Riverside’s Co-op program can provide unique opportunities for students to gain experience in an area they might want to pursue as a career.

Photo courtesy of MakerLabs Vancouver/International Submarine Engineering Limited