Seagate Recognizes Top STEM Students With Generous Awards



Media contacts:

Sara Gomez, Program Director,, 612.643.0627

Lara Maupin, Communications,


Seagate Emerging Scholars


More than 400 students gathered to present original STEM research and compete for awards

[BROOKLYN CENTER, MN, March 31, 2019] -- More than 400 middle and high school students from across Minnesota gathered March 30 - 31, 2019, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN, to compete in the 82nd Annual Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair (SSEF), hosted by the Minnesota Academy of Science (MAS). These students were selected from among 2,500 students in grades 6 - 12 competing at regional science fairs across the state.

Seagate has been a long-time sponsor of SSEF. “We are so grateful to have Seagate as a sponsor. Their generous awards help inspire students to spend hundreds of hours outside the classroom conducting scientific research and creating projects that have personal meaning for them,” said MAS Executive Director Celia Waldock. “Through years of watching science fair participants, we have seen how the opportunity to be recognized for their hard work and to connect with professional scientists motivates students to tackle the world’s problems and become our future leaders and scientists.”

During the March 31 awards ceremony, Seagate gave three primary awards:

Seagate Excellence in Science Mentoring Award - This award recognized two outstanding science teachers who find creative ways to nurture students’ interest in scientific research and discovery. Shay Motalebi (New Life Academy) and Joanne Michet (Friedell Middle School) each received $1,000 and a Seagate portable hard drive. Their schools will also receive a $1,000 award.

Seagate Rising Star Award - This award recognized two emerging student scientists whose projects not only exemplify excellence in their category but also demonstrate high degrees of difficulty, thoroughness, complexity, creativity, innovation, and effective communication. High school student Hemanth Asirvatham (Century High School) received a $2,000 award, trophy, and a Seagate portable hard drive for his research, Externally Delivered Electroportation Targeting Internal Ocular Structures:  A Novel Treatment for Glaucoma. Middle school student Joseph Mohr (Jackson County Central Middle School) received a $1,500 award, trophy, and a Seagate portable hard drive for his Automatic Garden Waterer.

Seagate Emerging Scientist Award - This award recognizes excellent scientific research conducted by students competing for the first time. The top 10% of first-year students received trophies.

Seagate also consistently sends a large number of volunteers to work as scientific judges. Seagate employees assess student projects, ask questions, and offer feedback. "The fair enables students to communicate their research findings to professionals who work in their fields of interest, and the event reinforces that excitement and passion for STEM can translate into real opportunities," said Sara Gomez, program director.