Microsoft Research hosted a computing discovery day for Year 6 students from Abbey Meadows Primary School as part of Cambridge LaunchPad, a STEM outreach programme managed by Form the Future CIC. The students were challenged to a range of activities from coding a simple wire buzzer game with micro:bit computers and designing monsters in Paint 3D that they could interact with via a web cam, to using the Microsoft Hololens to look for a virtual hamster that was loose in the atrium of the building!
Natalya Butterworth, Events and Communications Manager at Microsoft Research, said:
“We were so pleased to host the students for the day to give them a glimpse of what Microsoft Research does and to share with them the exciting and creative opportunities that the field of computer science has to offer. We were really impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and ability to quickly put what they’d learned into practice and we hope to have inspired them to continue learning about computing.”
Anna Aldred, STEM Outreach and Cambridge LaunchPad Project Manager from Form the Future CIC, said:
“Today, Abbey Meadows Year 6 students got the chance to get hands-on with some of the latest and most exciting technology around at the moment. It was fantastic to give them the rare and unique opportunity to hear about the technologies first-hand from the people that develop them, and see inside the Microsoft research lab.”
The volunteers selected students who best demonstrated enthusiasm, creativity and teamwork. The winning students will attend a prize trip that will take place in the summer, alongside Year 4–6 students from other schools and colleges that are taking part in Cambridge LaunchPad. By introducing students to inspiring role models who are passionate about their careers and break gender stereotypes, they will be able to see that certain industries, like technology, can be accessible and offer a diverse range of job opportunities.
Lynsey McDonald, Year 6 Teacher at Abbey Meadows Primary School, said:
“What a wonderful experience for all our children from Abbey Meadows! Some children were in awe that these types of careers exist, just being inside the Microsoft building was a really exciting and motivating experience for our students. They loved experiencing the new technology and engaging with resources we could only dream of having inside the classroom for them. Thank you to everyone involved in the organisation of this superb learning opportunity.”
If you want to know more about our STEM outreach and Cambridge LaunchPad, and wish to participate, please contact us at email@example.com.