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Engaging young people to learn about opportunities in STEM

7 April 2022

Girls taking part in lab session

A number of outreach events have been taking place in the School of Computer Science and Informatics over the last couple of months. These events are aimed at attracting more young people into science and maths-based subjects such as computer science.

During February and March, as part of a Winter of Wellbeing project, STEM ambassadors staffed a stand in a former GAP store in the main shopping mall in the centre of Cardiff. They demonstrated micro:bits and raspberry pi technology to members of the public and answered questions about science, maths and technology. They also used the event to promote the Game of Codes competition run by the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

On International Women’s Day, staff of the School placed themselves in the main foyer armed with snacks and giveaways. The aim was to get students, staff and passers by to stop and write down their advice or positive messages for those who identify as female and may be interested in STEM based study or careers. They then created a wall of messages supporting women in STEM.

Girls Into STEM, the third event, undertaken in partnership with the Engineering Education Scheme Wales, involved 90 girls from three different local high schools (St Richard Gwyn, Cathays High School, and Tonyrefail Community School) who attended the university and our new Abacws building for the day to take part in a programme of activities. A number of our lecturing staff hosted an hour’s session answering the girls’ questions. The girls then participated in three workshops led by our delivery officers and supported by Cardiff University student STEM ambassadors. Topics included cyber security, using Micro:Bits and an unplugged workshop on computational thinking, all with a view to inspire the next generation of female Computer Science students.

We are planning on another series of events in the near future including a Minecraft Game Premiere a Game of Codes Final, as well as our usual school delivery, online code club, and a One World One Technology project that is currently linking a school in Swansea with a school in Turkey.

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