Seagate Real World Science Conference Delivers Real Benefits

Some 250 young people in the North West were challenged this month
to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics collectively referred to as the STEM subjects at the
Seagate Real World Science Conference.

The inspiring one-day, hands-on, interactive conference is organised
annually by Seagate, and was held on Thursday 19 November
at Lumen Christi College, Derry. Year 10 pupils from Buncrana, Claudy,
Strabane, Dungiven and Limavady attended the event along with students
from schools based in the city.

The aim is to encourage pupils to step out of the classroom and
discover the wide range of careers that the STEM subjects can open up
to them. The event offers more than 20 interactive workshops that allow
students to get hands-on experience of the day-to-day activities in a
number of fields, including rocket science, forensics, paramedics and
materials science.

The event provides a useful forum for companies and organizations that,
like Seagate, recognise the importance of promoting the STEM subjects
and enhancing the employability of local students. Other organisations
that generously volunteered their time and resources to host workshops
are: Northern Ireland Electricity, the Police Service of Northern
Ireland, Northern Ireland Fire Service, Inishowen Maritime Museum and
Planetarium, University of Ulster’s School of Computing and Intelligent
Systems, Invista, Queen’s University’s School of Chemistry and Chemical
Engineering, Des Harper, Sentinus, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service,
Loughs Agency, Creggan Country Park, RSPB, the ECOS Centre, Ulster Wild
Life Trust, BBC Breathing Spaces, Forest Service and University of
Ulster’s School of Nursing.

Explaining why Seagate felt it important to implement such a
conference, John Spangler, vice president at Seagate’s Springtown
facility, said: “From a purely commercial perspective, Seagate 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 its passion for science and technology
with the 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 them 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 student awareness 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.”

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