Jun 10, 2003

Seagate Turns Kids On To Bright Ideas

SPRINGTOWN, Northern Ireland - A burping rubbish bin, a solar powered water distillation unit, a fire alarm that can tell you where the nearest extinguisher is situated and a boot-washing machine for farmers will provide glimpses of 'tomorrow's world' this week as local schoolchildren showcase their latest inventions and compete for the honours in the annual Seagate Young Innovators competition.

Now in its fifth year, Seagate Young Innovators is the largest event of its kind in the UK, attracting almost 200 science, engineering and technology entries from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland and several from the Republic of Ireland. More than 600 young people aged between eight and eighteen will be pitting their wits and ingenuity against the challenges of science, engineering and technology as they display and explain their projects at The Odyssey, Belfast, on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 June.

Looking forward to the two-day festival of bright ideas, Brian Campbell of Sentinus, the competition organisers, says; "Each year we seem to set new records in the numbers of entries and in terms of quality. Clearly we're in for an amazing two days at The Odyssey as the young people put their entries on show and to the test. Events like this one are important for the economic future of the province as they encourage interest among young people in careers in the fields of science, engineering and technology.

"To judge by the high standards and imaginative approaches shown by this year's Young Innovators, Northern Ireland is well on track to produce a great new generation of scientists and engineers. Not only are they remarkably talented but - as their work amply demonstrates - they find fun as well as stimulation in science, engineering and technology."

John Spangler, plant manager at Seagate's Springtown facility, says; "We are delighted to be helping the next generation of young innovators to get turned on to science, engineering and technology. We recognise the importance of encouraging new talent into our sector and believe that enthusiasm for science, engineering and technology starts in the classroom. Early encouragement such as this is vital if Northern Ireland is to develop and maintain a competitive edge in the knowledge-based economy."

The winners of the Northern Ireland competition will go on to compete in UK, European and US competitions.

The event is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

Participating schools, Seagate Young Innovators 2003:

Abbey Grammar School, Newry
Alexandra College, Dublin
Antrim Grammar, Antrim
Aquinas Grammar School, Belfast
Ballyclare High School, Ballyclare
Banbridge High School, Banbridge
Belfast High School, Belfast
Belfast Royal Academy, Belfast
Brownlow Integrated College, Portadown
Campbell College, Belfast
Cookstown High School, Cookstown
Dalriada Grammar School, Ballymoney
Donaghadee High School, Donaghadee
Foyle & Londonderry College, Derry
Glengormley High School, Glengormley
Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor
Knockbreda High School, Belfast
Lagan College, Belfast
Larne High School, Larne
Loreto, Dublin
Lurgan Junior High School, Lurgan
Mary Immaculate, County Clare
Methodist College, Belfast
Omagh Academy, Omagh
Our Lady & St Patrick's, Belfast
Our Lady's Grammar School, Newry
Our Lady's, Drogheda
Portadown College, Portadown
Sacred Heart, Newry
St Aidan's, Cootehill
St Colman's, Newry
St Colmcille's High School, Crossgar
St Genevieve's, Belfast
St Joseph's, Newry
St Louis, Dundalk
St MacNissi's College, Carnlough
St Mary's, Derry
St Mary's, Magherafelt
St Mary's, Newry
St Patrick's High School, Keady
St Patrick's, Downpatrick
St Patrick's, Dungiven
St Paul's, Raheny
Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS:

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives for Enterprise, PC 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. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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.