Apr 10, 2006

Two Students' Science Projects Get Top Honors From Seagate

MINNEAPOLIS - One million entry-level engineers will be needed over the next decade according to the National Academy of Engineering. In February, in his visit to Minnesota, President Bush emphasized that the United States cannot lead the world in science and technology development unless more emphasis and funds are dedicated to educating young scientists and mathematicians. So getting students interested and involved in science has become more important than ever.

Students Stephanie Kerkvliet from St. Hubert Elementary School in Chanhassen, and Stephen Trettel from New Prague Senior High School find science very interesting and see future opportunities in the field. Both were honored recently with the Seagate Rising Star award for their outstanding project work at the Minnesota Academy of Science State Fair.

Introduced three years ago, the Seagate Rising Star award, sponsored by hard drive leader Seagate Technology, is intended for students whose projects not only exemplify excellence in their category but also display high degrees of difficulty, creativity and innovation. Two awards are presented - one for a junior high project and the second for a senior high project. The junior high Seagate Rising Star award winner receives a trophy and $1,500, and the senior high winner receives a trophy and $2,000.

"Criteria for this award was based not only on excellent work but also on the presenters' ability to capture the imagination of our judges," said Ed Neu, Seagate senior engineer and one of the lead Rising Star judges. "These outstanding future scientists displayed excellent presentation and communication skills, showed good use of basic statistic and research skills and their projects were well thought out. It was refreshing to see the level of interest these students have for science."

Kerkvliet, an eighth-grader, worked on "Super Cool Caterpillars." Her project focused on the impact of weather on the monarch population and how human contributing factors, such as pollution, affect the monarchs.

Trettel, a sophomore, worked on "Propellantless Propulsion: The Role of Drift Transport in Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrust Production." For him, it was the long time fascination with VandeGraaff generators, the round silver generator that makes your hair stand up when you touch it, which led him to this project. Trettel plans to continue researching his findings.

More than 400 students in grades seven through 12 throughout Minnesota participated in the 69th annual Minnesota Academy of Science State Fair. Awards were given to students who participate with a project, research paper, or both, in one of the following 14 categories-Behavioral and Social Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computers, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geology, Gerontology, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics and Zoology.

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, and Consumer Electronics applications. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, and to be the low cost producer 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 www.seagate.com.

Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC.