This has become an annual event, in which Year 9's like to particpate enthusiastically. This years team were: Victoria; Lauren; Alba; Glory; Samiya; Caitlin; Rosie; and Hana.
On Friday 28 November, eight Year 9 students went to Microsoft, in Thames Valley Park. The girls took part in a competition, inspired to encourage more females to consider a career in the STEM industry (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
The pupils received a warm welcome by the Microsoft staff and were led into Chicago, a cinema-like conference room, which was also occupied by all the other schools competing. Next, they had a very inspiring talk by a computer scientist, Sadia Ahmed. She told them about her journey to her career path and also about her current project, the Rainforest, which looks at how computer logistics can help us make conclusions and predictions about how human globalisation will affect our environment and climate.
After that, the students were briefed on their challenge, to design an app that fits within their given category. The schools were then split up into different buildings. Reading Girls’ was given the category entitled ‘Health, Fitness and Sport’. The girls then had to work as a team to create a video that presented their ideas and also showed how inventive they were with the use of the technology all around them. They were supervised by Microsoft staff members and Mr Goff.
After lunch, the girls were given a talk by a group of inventors, who were working on a project named ‘Guide Dogs’. This project included the use of technology to help blind people to travel around more easily. This piece of technology is still being modified and has only just attracted media attention.
Then, the girls had the opportunity to ask questions to members of staff and apprentices. After having a jam-packed afternoon, the girls had the chance to see some of the latest technology being developed in Microsoft. The girls had great fun participating in a Just Dance Central game. Even the teachers joined in!
Finally, it was the prize giving, and although the students worked very hard, they didn't win first prize. “However, it was an enthralling experience and has definitely opened my eyes to to how many exciting and interesting STEM job careers there are!” said Victoria, 9R. Overall, the girls really enjoyed their time at Microsoft.
see more photos here