As part of its commitment to equip more young people with digital skills, Microsoft has announced a one-year pilot programme to help STEM subjects become more engaging in schools across Europe.
The announcement follows the publishing of a Microsoft report earlier this year, which shows that on average, most girls across Europe gain an interest in STEM subjects at 11.5 years of age, but lose their passion at the age of 15 – after which, it is almost impossible to re-engage interest.
The STEM pilot programme, in collaboration with European Schoolnet, will roll out across 38 schools in Europe to help build a strong learning foundation for STEM subjects, which in turn should help encourage students to consider further developing their STEM skills at a higher education level.
Microsoft will work closely with the selected schools to provide professional development and certifications for educators, while in turn making STEM subjects more engaging for the students themselves.
Launching at the start of the new school year in September this year, the programme will include Microsoft staff visits to schools, which will provide students with a direct, motivational contact to the tech industry, to help foster engagement.
The programme will also include industry Skype meetings, engineers, tool camps, NDA insights into upcoming technology, and webcasts – all of which will help stimulate students and kindle their passion for learning in STEM subjects.
Teacher professional development will also play a key role in the programme, with summer schools involving two to five teachers per school enrolling in the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) programme to gain relevant certifications while driving extracurricular student certifications.
For more information, please visit Microsoft’s original STEM subject research post, which includes a white paper with a detailed breakdown of why young girls lose interest in STEM subjects. A deep dive video discussion on the topic is also available.