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January 15, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:06am

Accenture uses VR, Minecraft and Raspberry Pi to teach girls coding

News: A new initiative aims to tackle the barriers to women in STEM.

By Alexander Sword

A new initiative by Accenture and Stemettes will see young girls learning to code at events across the UK and Ireland.

The events in London, Dublin, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester will aim to teach girls between the ages of 11 and 15 how to code through active sessions, workshops and female speakers from the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) community.

The speakers include representatives from the BBC and Women in Gaming, Naomi Mitchinson, an IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year and Carrie Bishop, director of Futuregov.

Each event will feature a hackathon led by the Stemettes, where girls will compete at the Hakitzu Code Warriors game using JavaScript.
The London and Newcastle events will feature a crypto-analysis and code-breaking workshop first developed by the FBI.

There will also be a virtual reality workshop and a Minecraft ‘hack jam’ using the Raspberry Pi and Python programming language.

Previously, Accenture hosted an event in Newcastle in January 2015, attended by 300 girls from across the North East of England.

"It is a serious concern that girls believe that STEM subjects are too hard to learn, so the aim of our events is to showcase the applicability of these skills through interactive workshops," said Emma McGuigan, senior managing director for Accenture Technology in the UK and Ireland.

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"The speakers and workshops across the UK and Ireland aim to inspire girls and educate them about the amazing possibilities open to them."

"This year the strong attendance at so many locations shows the need for these events nationally. I’m excited to be bringing these girls on their own personal Stemette journeys, hopefully ending up in industry," said Anne-Marie Imafidon, Stemettes.

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