Encouraging the next generation of digital gurus
24 February 2016 |
About a 3 minute read
We hear a lot about the importance of getting kids interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society are just a handful of the organisations in the UK that are actively participating in promoting and encouraging the study of and interest in STEM subjects in schools.
Aside from the fact that studying in and working in STEM subjects can be incredibly interesting and rewarding, a study done in 2014 by Colt Technology Services claims that as many as 72% of businesses in Europe are facing a tech deficit. A way to solve this is to encourage more young people to study these subjects.
In an earlier blog post ,our Giving Lead, Harbinder Uppal, mentioned Helping ‘AND and some of the CSR work AND Digital do. As part of this, we recently visited two schools in London to speak to the students about what we do and to try and give them an insight into a career in technology, should it be something that they’re considering.
The first of our two visits was to St. Mary Magdalene Academy in Islington where we presented to a group of students aged between 14-16. We had a mix of presenters to give the students an overview of what AND Digital does and an insight into each of the roles.
The students were great and really engaged in listening and asking questions. One boy even told us about his aspirations to develop artificial intelligence for video games.
The second visit was to the Highbury Fields Girls School’s sixth form, which took a similar format to the event organised by Ruairi last year, combining a presentation with a workshop activity. The presentation was given by five of us, covering topics such as a typical day for an analyst and developer, the path one of our ANDi’s took to end up in tech, and why we love digital. We then split the girls into groups of about 6 and gave them the task of coming up with a concept for an app. We helped them discuss and come up with ideas for what it might do, what it might be called, the target user group, the goals for the app and what features it may have. The groups then presented their work and ideas back to their classmates. As we wrapped up, their teacher told us that given it was the Friday afternoon before half-term, there would usually be a lot of grumbling about getting out on time, however, it was obvious that the students really enjoyed this session as they all seemed happy to stay and discuss their ideas.
For me personally, working in AND Digital has been the first opportunity I have had to get involved with something like this. I’ve always felt quite strongly that it’s important to encourage young people to get involved with STEM. I also think that at school level is the best time to promote this, so it’s been a lot of fun to get to be a part of something like this.
If your company doesn’t have a CSR programme, you can still get involved in activities like this through organisations like STEMNET (http://www.stemnet.org.uk/) and Code Club (https://www.codeclub.org.uk/)… and if you would like to work for a company with a CSR programme, well then, AND Digital is always hiring!
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