Jun 17, 2008

Seagate Young Innovators Inspires The Next Generation

SPRINGTOWN, Northern Ireland - Eight hundred of Northern Ireland’s finest young minds are preparing to attend Seagate Young Innovators on Thursday 19th June 2008 at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.

The annual science fair, which features six competition categories, is the largest showcase of science, engineering and technology projects for young people in the United Kingdom. The event is the product of a long-standing partnership between Sentinus, one of the largest providers of business education activity in Europe, and Seagate (NYSE: STX), the worldwide leader in hard drives and storage solutions.

Regional heats for ‘Junior Engineers for Britain’ and the ‘Primary Science & Technology Challenge’ are complete with successful primary school students securing a place at Seagate Young Innovators. The other primary event, the ‘Junior Industry Challenge’, involves schools achieving gold level accreditation for project work around the development of a mini enterprise. Work has to be carried out in partnership with a local company.

Seagate Young Innovators gives special schools from across Northern Ireland an opportunity to exhibit their projects in the ‘Special Schools Challenge’. The main event and the largest in the day involves secondary students exhibiting their innovative solutions to research and development problems and combines the ‘Northern Ireland Young Scientist’, and ‘Young Engineers for Britain’ competitions.

Seagate Young Innovators is admission-free and commences at 10:00am with fifty primary school teams participating in live design-and-build challenges as part of the ‘Junior Engineers for Britain’ and ‘Primary Science and Technology Challenge’ regional finals. Alongside this hub of activity, 200 imaginative projects that utilize elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are on display for the judges and public to browse.

Keen to show children the wide range of career opportunities in STEM fields, including the less traditional ones, John Spangler, vice president and managing director at Seagate’s Springtown facility, said; “We are enthusiastic about being involved in Seagate Young Innovators as the event inspires the careers of the next generation. High tech companies like Seagate rely on a steady flow of graduates with STEM skills.

“It’s good to see the vitality and enthusiasm that’s generated when hundreds of young people, from 8 to 18 years, gather to compete. The challenges set in each category give young people a feel for science and engineering and can help them decide what subjects they should study at higher levels to help them along their career path.” continued Spangler.

“Judges are not only looking for excellence in the ‘build’ quality of each project but also at how well students present and understand their solution. Innovative design is very important in impressing the judges,” says Brian Campbell, chief executive of Sentinus.

“Seagate Young Innovators involves young people working on STEM projects from a young age. It motivates and challenges them to look at the subjects in a new way. Many previous participants have gone on to take STEM courses at higher education level and have followed successful careers in engineering or science. That’s what makes this our flagship event. It is an excellent example of how industry and education can work together in partnership,” concluded Campbell.

TV personality Frank Mitchell is Master of Ceremonies for the 3:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony, when participants will find out if they have won one of the fifty prizes on offer—some of which involve trips to national and international science fairs.

About Sentinus
Sentinus is a not for profit organisation and is one of the largest providers of business/education activity in the United Kingdom. Through the establishment of partnerships between education and industry, the organisation creates an awareness of the exciting opportunities available to young people in science, engineering and technology and assists their development in readiness for the world of work.

As part of a national network of SETPOINTs Sentinus has a strong focus on young people, from 5 to 19 years old, enhancing their life skills through challenging and exciting experiences with an industrial focus.

Sentinus initiatives promote innovation and creativity in science, technology and engineering and give pupils from our schools the opportunity to work with other people, gain real experience of practical problem solving, develop communication skills and make informed career decisions.

The work of Sentinus is supported by many companies and organisations throughout Northern Ireland, providing vital opportunities for young people, nurturing the workforce of tomorrow and making a real impact on society.

Further information can be obtained from Sentinus on Belfast (028) 9262 7755.

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives and storage solutions, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, with the goal of being the time-to-market leader in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at http://www.seagate.com.

Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC in the United States and/or other countries.

Seagate has two facilities in Northern Ireland, employing over 2,200 people between them. At the Springtown wafer fabrication facility, the Company develops and manufactures recording heads, which write information onto and read information from the recording disc inside a hard drive product. The Company’s Limavady facility produces nickel-plated aluminium substrates, the core material on which computer hard disc drives read, write and store digital information.