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Students Offered Real World Experience at Seagate Science Conference


More than 270 young people in the North West will be the first to experience a new one-day, hands-on, interactive conference on Monday, 26 November 2007 at Lumen Christi College, Derry, organised by Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX).

The Seagate Real World Science Conference aims to support the curriculum of Year 10 students by encouraging the uptake of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and enhance pupils’ employability. The event also provides a forum for like-minded companies seeking to support schools in this activity. Other companies that have generously volunteered their time and resources to host workshops, in addition to those delivered by Seagate, are the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Altnagelvin Hospital), PSNI, Northern Ireland Electricity, Northern Ireland Fire Service, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Greencastle Planetarium, RAF, Sentinus, Think Differently, University of Ulster, Queens University, Almac Pharmaceuticals, Invista, NORIBIC, SilverTongue, DoodleDawg Entertainment, Cardiff’s Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network UK, Des Harper, EMC2 and the Construction Industry Training Board.

Explaining why Seagate felt it important to implement such a conference, John Spangler, vice president at Seagate’s Springtown facility, said: “Seagate is committed to continuing to develop its successful partnerships with educational establishments, and to sharing our passion for science and technology with our local community. Developing a future generation of people who are highly qualified in the specialist disciplines of science, engineering and technology will have a very significant impact.

“Through our established partnerships with local schools, we’re aware that Northern Ireland still needs to do more to encourage greater numbers of young people to opt to study the STEM subjects,” added Spangler. “The main message we’re hearing from our academic associates is that the focus must turn to encouraging students to study the sciences. The Seagate Real World Science Conference was created to fulfill this aim.”

Lumen Christi College, one of the local schools with specialist status for science, is an ideal venue and partner to assist in the running of this educational event. Patrick O’Doherty, principal of Lumen Christi, said, “We’re delighted to be involved in this event. We wholeheartedly share Seagate’s enthusiasm for encouraging students to follow careers in these fields. Industry sectors that utilise the knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics often result in direct improvement of the local economy and from time to time, are responsible for cutting-edge inventions.

“We agree with Seagate that the best way to encourage students to study STEM subjects and work towards careers that rely on them, is to give young people a taster of what a career in these fields would be like. The professionals hosting the workshops have each prepared a fun interactive way to break down at least one key task that their job requires them to do on a regular basis.”

Aiming to attract Year 10 pupils from across the North West, a number of schools have been invited from the hubs of Claudy, Strabane, Dungiven and Limavady, as well as schools based in the city.

The event offers 23 interactive workshops, allowing students to sample a diverse range of careers including forensics, rocket science, civil engineering, pharmacy, and paramedics. Each workshop has been given a fun but appropriate title. Examples include ‘CSI - Can Students Investigate?’, ‘Science is a Piece of Cake!’, ‘Roboslave’, ‘From Potion to Patient’, and ‘The Colourful Cosmos.’ At the end of the day, pupils get a chance to browse a number of information stands for further details on the careers experienced during the conference.

For further information contact June Coates, Corporate Communications, Seagate Technology on Tel: 7127 4216 or e-mail


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