Female 2nd level students were shown how to design and create their own app as part of a fresh initiative to inspire and encourage the next generation of young women to enter the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) area.
Using HTML and other app building tools, the young students were shown by experts from the award-winning social enterprise Stemettes how to harness coding, software, digital and tech skills to build their own apps and other tech creations and explore the limitless possibilities the exciting world of STEM has to offer.
Part of Engineers Week 2019, the unique Stemettes ‘STEM Goals Day’ event ahead of International Women’s Day, was hosted by Engineers Ireland and was also supported by Intel, who recently announced a strategic partnership to inspire and engage future generations of STEM talent in Ireland.
Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, and the first woman to hold the role, said: “There is growing interest in STEM amongst women, but as we saw from our ‘Engineering 2019: A barometer of the profession in Ireland’ report earlier this week, men still greatly outnumber women at each stage of engineering higher education and apprenticeships. That said, the gender gap has narrowed over the past five years so it is incumbent on teachers, policymakers, parents and us all in industry, to play our part in building further awareness and interest in STEM, and particularly engineering, as a creative and diverse profession amongst young female students.”
Ann-Marie Holmes, Vice President of Intel’s Manufacturing and Operations Group and Factory Manager at Fab24, said: “Young people today are hands-on learners with endless creativity, and this Stemettes event not only provides students with the opportunity to enhance their tech skills but importantly it demonstrates to them the tremendous platform that a knowledge of STEM can provide in terms of a diverse and exciting career.”
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, MBE, of Stemettes said: “We love working alongside organisations like Engineers Ireland and Intel to inspire our future innovators. We bring the engagement expertise and they bring the real role models – women who are like them and who show what is possible. This is something that is important to do, on International Women’s Day and beyond.”
The one-day event provided a structured introduction to STEM to over 40 young women from County Kildare who were given an overview of the range of exciting career options available to them after studying STEM subjects. Participants were also able to present their own crafted websites and tech creations to a number of senior managers from Intel and compete for prizes up for grabs.
Tools used at the event included: Appshed, the online app-creation tool where anyone can design and publish mobile apps for iOS, Android and web; Appinventor which supports building Android Apps; and Marvel Pop, which helps transform your pen and paper ideas into an interactive iPhone or Android prototype.
Now in its 13th year, Engineers Week is an annual campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers and excite students about the possibilities a career in engineering can offer. With hundreds of events already taking place throughout the week, the event is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded as a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme Call – and supported by TII, Intel, ESB and Arup. To find out more about events taking place around the country or to register an event visit www.engineersweek.ie