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Seagate Real World Science Conference Delivers Real Benefits


SPRINGTOWN, Northern Ireland.-Three hundred young people in the North West will be challenged this month to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the forthcoming Seagate Real World Science Conference.

The inspiring one-day, hands-on, interactive conference is organised annually by Seagate (NASDAQ: STX), and will be held on Friday 21 November 2008 at Lumen Christi College, Derry. The aim is to encourage pupils to step out of the classroom and think out of the box when it comes to careers. Students get to see adults, from a range of professions, in action as life-changing Superheros and spend a creative, interactive day experiencing everything from the science of slime to how to build a robo-servant!

The Seagate Real World Science Conference has been designed to support the curriculum of Year 10 students by encouraging the uptake of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and enhancing pupils’ employability.

The event also provides a forum for companies and organizations that, like Seagate, want to bring their support and STEM inspiration to schools in their community. Optician Donal McGovern, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Altnagelvin Hospital), PSNI, Northern Ireland Electricity, Northern Ireland Fire Service, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Loughs Agency, Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium, RAF, Sentinus, University of Ulster, Queens University Belfast, Invista, Cardiff’s Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network UK, Des Harper, EMC2 and Construction Skills in Northern Ireland, have all become actively involved to help Seagate provide twenty-one workshops for the conference.

John Spangler, vice president at Seagate’s Springtown facility, is passionate about the potential value of the event. He said, “From a purely commercial perspective, Seagate obviously wishes to help in the development of a future generation of people who are highly qualified in the specialist disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math, not least because the students we help today may well be our workforce of tomorrow. The company is hugely committed to continuing to develop its successful partnerships with educational establishments, and to sharing our passion for science and technology with our local community.

“More widely, Northern Ireland PLC needs to encourage still greater numbers of young people to opt to study the STEM subjects and those of us who have built our careers on those are ideally placed to share our expertise, experience and enthusiasm. We want to inspire these young people so that they stick with subjects that will stretch their minds and intellectual horizons and eventually open the doors to some great careers,” Spangler continued.

Lumen Christi College, which has been accorded 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, “Seagate and Lumen Christi share the same goals in educating the next generation in STEM. We both want to encourage not only the uptake of sciences but also to increase awareness by students of the vast range of interesting careers at the cutting-edge of many industries that utilise them so they can make informed career choices. That’s why we’re delighted to continue to build on the relationship established with Seagate through this science conference.”

Year 10 pupils from Buncrana, Claudy, Strabane, Dungiven and Limavady and the wider NorthWest catchment area have been invited to attend, along with students from schools based in the city.

This year the event offers twenty-one interactive workshops, encouraging students to sample a diverse range of careers ranging from forensics, rocket science, optometry, and civil engineering to pharmacy, paramedics and chemistry.

While the subjects are serious, the workshops are designed to be fun and interactive, and young people will be challenged to: re-design the future skyline, build a harmonograph, check out the science of slime, work out what iPods and floating trains have in common—and much more.


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