This week I had the real privilege to talk to 20 enthusiastic Year 9-13 girls who had come from all over the country to attend the GirlsInnov8 2017 ICT Camp hosted at St Cuthbert’s College. I went there with Technology Evangelist Hannes Nel where we shared with the girls options for careers in ICT along with some great tools to start programming with. After the morning tea break, we brought out the main attraction – two HoloLens and allowed each girl to try it out for themselves across three apps:
The feedback from the girls was incredibly positive and they started to understand how this technology could be used and think up future possibilities.
@Microsoft NZ & @samuelmcneill came and shared the #HoloLens to the girls. #mixedreality #futuretech @StCuthberts pic.twitter.com/JJ8h0UnPz3
— GirlsInnov8 (@GirlsInnov8) July 13, 2017
Great to see @HannesN evangelizing #hololens at Girls Innovate #ICT camp @andyparkernz @nzannet #edchatnz #MSFTEdu pic.twitter.com/aiuz3S10Ce
— Sam McNeill (@samuelmcneill) July 12, 2017
Prior to experiencing the HoloLens, I talked to the girls about their favourite subjects, with many identifying the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) as their most enjoyable subjects. In 2016 for International Women’s Day Microsoft released their annual video and asked if girls could name female inventors:
I asked the girls the same question and I did manage to get one successful answer from one of the girls, and most were determined to what to go on and invent something themselves. The key is keeping them interested in STEM and going on to complete degrees at University in these areas:
To see some examples of how to use MakeCode with Minecraft:EE then click here.
What was particularly pleasing was seeing two Old Girls from St Cuthbert’s College back helping out with the GirlsInnov8 camp – both were in their fourth year studying Computer Science. This type of role modelling and encouragement is critical to keeping students engaged in these areas.
A huge congratulations to Klaris Philipson the Director of Technologies at St Cuthbert’s who organises this annual event in her school holiday break.