On Tuesday some of our team headed out of the city and into leafy Chislehurst to spend the day with Chislehurst School for Girls for Digital Day 2017.
Digital Day sends professionals from the digital sector into schools to give students insight into the depth and breadth of careers available, offer practical advice on how to get into digital, and gets hands-on experience tackling challenges.
As a big supporter of getting women into tech we were excited to send Haley, Livia and Judit from our design team to spend a day with 200 girls in 7 different classes of year 10 students. After an icebreaker exercise there was an introduction to the industry, which was followed by plenty of questions from the girls.
They then split into groups and chose a challenge either related to pets insurance, bullying in schools or fashion (wearables).
After brainstorming and sketching ideas, they were asked to think of a cool name for their product, a logo and practice their elevator pitch. We wanted them to understand that selling ideas is just as important as having them. That brought a new energy to the rooms when they realised they’d have to present and vote on each other's products.
One group at the back of the room seemed a bit disengaged and when Livia came to talk to them they weren’t sure their idea was good enough. After a little redirection they felt confident again and came up with a pair of glasses for visually impaired people that uses AI to identify objects. Those glasses were connected to a wristband as well, which would signal different vibration patterns to redirect the user. Finally, with bone-conducting technology (which even our team hadn't heard of!) it would tell a blind person what kind of obstacle was in their way if needed.
Although difficult to choose a winner from some amazing ideas the selected design was for a digital lanyard for students. This design will be submitted back to BIMA for their judging panel to decide which groups will be crowned the Digital Day Champions 2017.
Miss Robinson, Head of Computer Science, said "The students thoroughly enjoyed the morning's events and have been discussing it since. The slide on money has awakened their interest in working in the digital job market and one student said she enjoyed it because they were all able to take part and be creative as a team. The girls had some amazing ideas. I will definitely be signing up again next year."