Wednesday 17 October 2018

Importance of STEM role models for young girls highlighted at Microsoft DreamSpace event

Namwan Conroy,12;Laura Morris,12;Jessica Dayman,11;Ruby Cunningham,12 from Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock, Co Dublin  Pic:Naoise Culhane
Namwan Conroy,12;Laura Morris,12;Jessica Dayman,11;Ruby Cunningham,12 from Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock, Co Dublin  Pic:Naoise Culhane
Emma Reid, from Microsoft ;with Keelin Rooke,11;Yovela Fubara 11;Aurora Batori 12;Clara Lawson 12; from Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock  Pic:Naoise Culhane
Rosemary McDonagh 12; and Lynn Coroner 11; from St. Thomas’s SNS in Tallaght Pic:Naoise Culhane
Ella Dockery,from Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock, Co Dublin; and Amanda Joliffe Pic:Naoise Culhane
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Almost half of young girls in Ireland are interested in STEM subjects when they are inspired by a female peer.

According to research carried out by Microsoft, the number of girls who reported an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics jumped from 38pc to 46pc in this scenario.

Kirsten Egan; and Nneoma Uzoukwa from Sacred Heart NS in Clondalkin Pic:Naoise Culhane
Kirsten Egan; and Nneoma Uzoukwa from Sacred Heart NS in Clondalkin Pic:Naoise Culhane

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said: "Every young person deserves the opportunity to participate in our digital world and develop a passion for technology.

"However, we face a significant challenge in encouraging more girls to become interested in technology-related careers. Despite girls becoming interested in technology around the age of 11, girls start to lose interested in STEM subjects around the age of 15."

The findings were revealed at a special event hosted in the firm's new innovation and education hub DreamSpace at the newly opened One Microsoft Place campus.

Sixth class students from St. Thomas’s SNS in Tallaght, Sacred Heart NS in Clondalkin and Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock were invited to mark Girls in ICT on Thursday, April 26, at the hub.

Picture shows from left Mimi Birchall;Ella Dockery; Amanda Joliffe, Dreamspace Lead,Microsoft;Katie Kirwan; and Sibeal Cherry students from Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock, Co Dublin Pic:Naoise Culhane
Picture shows from left Mimi Birchall;Ella Dockery; Amanda Joliffe, Dreamspace Lead,Microsoft;Katie Kirwan; and Sibeal Cherry students from Guardian Angels NS in Blackrock, Co Dublin Pic:Naoise Culhane

They listened to guest speakers share their stories of how embracing technology led to their own success. 

Delivering the 5-minute empowerment talks were teen Kate Madden of FenuHealth. Junk Kouture's COO Sara Ryan, and Microsoft graduate employee Paula Kiernan.

"By leveraging social media and developing a digital-first approach to all I do, I’ve helped to showcase the extraordinary talent amongst students in Ireland and inspire others to be break boundaries of creative design, said Sara Ryan.

The students also heard about new innovations and what working in tech involves from Bernadette Thalhammer and Barbara de Kegel from Havok.

Microsoft's research showed that three out of five girls in Ireland can imagine a future career in STEM if they have strong role models in their lives.

Microsoft said it is committed to bringing 100,000 primary and TY students to One Microsoft Place over the next four years to participate in the DreamSpace experience.

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