On a cold Monday morning in Melbourne eight bright girls aged 6 to 12 took the elevator up 28 floors to front up for a day full of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
They were all attending Kiandra’s first Kids in Tech Day, which started promptly at 9am, with a very relevant question: What do you think about technology? And we got some great answers:
- I think of technology as devices that help us do things
- It’s for communication and connectivity
- Technology is addictive yet informative
- It’s inspiring and entertaining
The aim of the day was to help close the gender gap of females represented in the STEM fields. Research shows that this disparity starts from a young age and addressing it during the early education years is important – so we invited our young daughters and nieces to see what it’s like to work in tech and, program robots to sumo wrestle.
The day was jammed packed with activities moderated by our People & Culture Manager Mel and Business Operations Coordinator Meredith. After our Co-Founders Martin and Cam introduced Kiandra, our Senior Business Analyst and ice breaker guru Leila, got everyone dancing – some even busted out the worm while others got stuck into flossing, it certainly set the tone for the day.
Our UX Designer Marielle took the youngsters through the process of designing a website and asked them all to produce a screen design and wireframes. She then turned it into a real website and presented the groups’ designs back to the kids.
The finished website:
Code camp with our Senior Project Manager Damien proved to be a popular session with the learners programming robots to ‘sumo’. The concept of the challenge was to walk the kids through the fundamentals and basics of programing and then see how it all works in action, via robot. It ended up a mini competition around which robot was the best wrestler.
Then came the Lego – you can’t visit a software development workplace and not get stuck into Lego. Our Head of Software Cassie and Leila came in to lead the young STEMmers and help them conceptualise development. Some great designs came out of this including a bespoke Harry Potter – technology is basically magic, right?
Our Test Analyst Rosmy was charged to help the kids navigate code and find a bug hiding deep in the website Marielle built. Bugs can impact an entire system, and everyone got schooled in the importance of testing development for deployment, and of course, found the bug.
At the end of the day, we posed the same important question again, what do you think about technology, NOW? We were chuffed with the results:
- Robots can help the real world
- There’s a big amount of effort that goes into creating a website
- How many jobs and things go into the background of technology
Well, that looks like a difference to us and a great result for our first Kiandra Kids in Tech Day.
Our moderator Mel also asked ‘what they want to be when they grow up?’ and the majority answered within the science and technology fields! We quickly received great feedback from the parent of a future-programmer, “they came home buzzing, Allanah is talking like she has her future mapped out – such is the influence that quality educational experience can have on our young.”
We hope to continue to do sessions like these and encourage more of our next generation to learn more about technology.