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Manx Student Team Makes ‘Best-of-the-Best’ as High School Teams Advance to Finals of the Global Conrad Foundation’s ‘Spirit of Innovation Awards’ 23 February 2012

Team Foogle group photoDOUGLAS — Team FOOGLE, a team of Manx students from St Ninian’s, will be representing the Isle of Man in the finals of the global Spirit of Innovation Awards at the NASA AMES Center in Silicon Valley in California at the end of March.

Officials with the Conrad Foundation today announced the names of 15 high school teams from across the United States and the Isle of Man that will compete in the final round of the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge.

Andrew Shipley of the St Ninian’s Science Department commented, "I am absolutely delighted that Team FOOGLE have got through to the finals. It’s an amazing achievement considering the quality, breadth of ideas and work that all the teams from across the island have put into their ideas. The winning team comprising of Erin McMaster, Abi Verschueren, Maria Hull, Beth Quayle and Adam Creamore, all students in Year 12 at St Ninian’s High School, are buzzing with excitement.

This is a life changing opportunity for the members of the team and I’m grateful to the Conrad Foundation and ManSat for making this available to students here. If the experience that the students have is anything like last year’s they will mix with students from across the United States and have the opportunity to present their ideas for judging before a panel of experts.

In these days of economic difficulty this is a brilliant piece of good news and helps to point the way forward for the future. We should be doing all that we can to combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship to spark student interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers and sustain a knowledge-based economy."

The annual competition, presented by Lockheed Martin Corporation and PepsiCo, challenges high school student teams around the globe to combine innovation and entrepreneurship along with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to create commercially-viable products to solve global and local challenges. The Isle of Man’s involvement is sponsored by Manx Satellite firm, ManSat.

“It is our honour to sponsor Manx involvement in the Awards. As the teams compete from around the world it’s never taken for granted that a Manx team will make it to the finals, but the Manx students never disappoint. As a Manxman I know it in my heart that our students have it in them to go head to head with the best of the rest of the world,” said ManSat Chairman and CEO, Chris Stott.

“I’m so proud of our Manx students achieving so much. These are difficult times around the world and here on the Island, but this is when the Island’s strengths shine through. Many companies on the Island support so much in education, and this is just one good example. I look forward to meeting Team FOOGLE and I’ll be voting for them in the People’s Choice and would encourage all to do so.” said Minister of Education and Children, Peter Karan MHK.

“Our Spirit of Innovation Challenge encourages students to design the future by focusing on some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation. “Once again with this year’s competition, the students have amazed us with their concepts to solve 21st Century Challenges. I like to call them the Innovation Generation. By combining STEM education with innovation and entrepreneurship, these high school students will be the innovative workforce of tomorrow.”

Finalist teams will present their product concepts at the Innovation Summit, March 28-31, to a panel of industry experts, leading entrepreneurs, government officials and world-renowned scientists at NASA Ames Research Center in Northern California. Products will be evaluated for technical content and marketplace viability.

Prior to the Summit, from March 12 to March 23, the public will have the opportunity to select the People's Choice Award winner by viewing finalist team videos and voting on their favourite innovative product. To review each team and their projects, visit http://www.conradawards.org/pages/finalists.

This year's competition challenged students to develop new ideas in the areas of aerospace exploration, clean energy, and health and nutrition.

Health and Nutrition: creating solutions that address growing more nutritious food with less water and land; creating better eating habits amongst youth; and encouraging healthy lifestyles through products and innovations.

Allergy Watch; Whitehorse High School, Montezuma Creek, Utah Ballet, Autism, and Mirror Neurons; Milken Community High School, Los Angeles, Calif.

FOOGLE; St. Ninians High School, Douglas, Isle of Man Lettuce help you grow!; Abraham Lincoln High School, Philadelphia, Pa. Team H2O; St. Francis Academy, Baltimore, Md.

About ManSat

ManSat represents a revolutionary partnership of aerospace, banking, financial services, strategic consulting, and international legal interests that have come together to offer unique business services to the world’s commercial space marketplace.

Building upon the Isle of Man’s preeminent position as a supplier of world-class banking and financial services, ManSat provides tailored business services to meet the needs of the international space industry, specifically focused on providing access to geostationary orbits and associated radio frequencies.

About The Conrad Foundation

The Conrad Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to transforming the current methods of teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in high schools. Its Spirit of Innovation Challenge is free to all who wish to participate and reaches all socio-economic levels. The Foundation is the only organization of its kind to combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship to inspire solutions for achieving global sustainability. For more information, visit www.conradawards.org.

Ian Jarritt
Director
ManSat Limited
3rd Floor
4 Athol Street
Isle of Man IM1 1LD

Tel: UK (44) (0) 1624 615571
Mobile: UK (44) (0) 7624 430353

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