Apr 23, 2004

Heat Is On For Place In Seagate Young Innovators Final

Five local schools from the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) area have recently secured a place at the final of the Primary School Technology Challenge, a major part of Seagate Young Innovators. The event which is a flagship activity for Sentinus, the organizer, will take place later this year at the Odyssey Arena.

Thirty primary schools took part in the SEELB heat of the competition, eager to earn a place in the final.

This year the task for the Primary 7 pupils, in teams of four, was to design and construct a winding mechanism that could be secured to a table; raise an egg in a cradle from the floor to a height of 50cm; and have the ability to tip the cradle to empty its contents into a box. The pressure was on for students to complete this task within an hour and secure a solution good enough to put them in the top five.

The schools that have been successful in winning a place at the final are: St Joseph's in Lisburn, Ballycarrickmaddy, Carrickmannon, All Children's Integrated and Loughries.

Keen to encourage future generations' interest in science, technology and engineering, John Spangler, plant manager at Seagate's Springtown facility, says; "The sheer volume of interest by primary schools in this challenge, which creates the need for these heats, is an encouraging sign that school children are being encouraged to take an interest in science from an early age.

"Seagate Young Innovators is a partnership between Seagate and Sentinus which provides an excellent platform to showcase and encourage the fantastic ideas and potential that Northern Ireland's young people, from primary through to secondary level, demonstrate annually."

The schools that took part in the SEELB heats were:

Rockport Primary School
St Bernard's Primary
Carr Primary
Grange Park Primary School
St Joseph's Primary, Lisburn
Ballywalter Primary School
St Mark's Primary School
St Patrick's Primary School
Loughries Primary School
Millisle Primary School
Carrickmannon Primary School
Ballycloughan Primary School
Comber Primary School
Dundonald Primary School
Ballynahinch Primary School
St Brigid's Primary School
Downshire Primary School
All Children's Integrated Primary School
Castlewellan Primary School
Annsborough Primary School
St Patrick's Primary School, Ballynahinch
St Mary's Primary School
St Francis Primary School
Christ The King Primary School
Clough Primary School
Derriaghy Primary School
Dromara Primary School
Lower Ballinderry Primary School
St Aloysuis Primary School
Ballycarrickmaddy Primary School

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide range of Enterprise, PC, Notebook and Consumer Electronics applications. The Company is committed to delivering 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 www.seagate.com.

Seagate has two facilities in Northern Ireland, employing over 1,800 people between them. At the Springtown wafer fabrication facility, the Company develops and manufactures the recording heads, which write information onto and read information from the recording disc inside a computer's hard drive. 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.

Seagate and Seagate Technology are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC.

Sentinus was created as a result of the merger of NISTRO and Industry Matters 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 on their development in readiness for the world of work.

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

Further information can be obtained from Sentinus on Belfast (028) 9036 6682.