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King’s Ely students on top form at Microsoft Research Cambridge’s DigiGirlz Day
9th April 2019

KING’S Ely Junior pupils attended the inspiring DigiGirlz Day at Microsoft Research Cambridge – and picked up a prize.

DigiGirlz Days are being held at Microsoft hubs across the globe and are designed to provide school-age girls with a better understanding of what a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is like.

The event in Cambridge was held on April 2nd and saw Dan Everest, Head of Computing and Digital Innovation at King’s Ely Junior, attending with a group of STEM-loving girls from Year 8 at King’s Ely Junior.

The pupils heard motivating talks from Haiyan Zhang, Director of Innovation at Microsoft, and Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK, who explained how important it is for young women with an interest in STEM to pursue careers in those fields, including in jobs of the future, such as Envisioning Experts and Empathologists.

The girls were then given one-and-a-half hours to design and make a prototype product which could aid someone with a disability. They were given a Micro:bit to code on. Once they had completed their prototypes, the students had to give a one-minute presentation about their product to Haiyan Zhang, Cindy Rose and Richard Potter, who is CTO at Microsoft.

King’s Ely’s group split into two teams for the challenge and one of the team’s products, ‘Smart Foods’, won the Best Social Impact Award on the day. The prototype product was an APP to help visually impaired people, which would scan food items and read out what the food was and when its ‘use by’ date was.

Dan Everest said: “Both our teams received great feedback about their prototype products and afterwards they got to meet numerous female Microsoft employees to learn about their journeys in the STEM industry and what their jobs involve. The DigiGirlz Day was a really great experience for the girls. Meeting and talking to so many women in the STEM industry was amazing for them and very empowering. I do hope this gives them the inspiration and confidence to consider jobs in the STEM industry.”

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