A GROUP of our Year 8 King’s Ely Junior girls attended the wonderfully inspiring DigiGirlz Day at Microsoft Research Cambridge on April 2nd.

DigiGirlz Days are being held at Microsoft hubs across the globe and are designed to provide girls with a better understanding of what a career in technology is like.

Dan Everest, Head of Computing and Digital Innovation at King’s Ely Junior, took the girls along. He said: “The event started with an inspirational talk by Haiyan Zhang, Director of Innovation at Microsoft, on how she has used technology to help people with disabilities. She was recently on the BBC’s ‘Big Life Fix’.

“The girls were then given 1.5 hours to design and make a prototype product which would aid someone with a disability. They were given a Micro_bit to code on. After lunch, Cindy Rose, the CEO of Microsoft UK, gave an empowering talk on how the girls should be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is happening right now in the tech industry. She discussed jobs of the future such as Envisioning Experts, Empathologists and NUI Designers.

“The girls then had to give a 1 minute presentation about their product to Richard Potter, Haiyan Zhang and Cindy Rose. They received great feedback about their 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 icing on the cake for what was an amazing day was that one of our group’s ‘Smart Foods’ won the ‘Best Social Impact’ award for their prototype product – 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.

“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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