Inspiring the Next Generation at NextGenSTEMM Women of the Future

Here at Intel, we recently sponsored the NextGenSTEMM Women of the Future conference at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, which brought together over 250 Year 10 girls aged 14-15 to inspire, educate and encourage them to consider STEMM subjects as a career. We want to help change the perceptions of what a career in the STEMM sector can be by showcasing some of the great work being done by colleagues here at Intel and educating students on the opportunities and career pathways available today.

Developing 21st Century Skills

There is a real need for these girls to follow their passion in STEMM subjects as Government makes large investments in stimulating the biotech, life sciences and genomics medicine sectors to help the UK be competitive on the global stage and prepare the NHS for precision and translational medicine. In the life sciences area, where the numbers of male and female graduates have been even for over 30 years, women are under-represented in leadership positions.

The morning session featured an impressive line-up of female presenters including Professor Jackie Hunter CBE, FMedSci, Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Space Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, who is a familiar face on TV and is currently presenting BBC’s The Sky at Night. And to reinforce some of the key messages from the speakers a fantastic afternoon of workshops allowed the girls to talk one-to-one to organisations such as Intel.

Showcasing RealSense™ and IoT

We really wanted to capture the imagination of the girls by showcasing what we do in the Health and Life Sciences sector in a relevant but fun way, from showcasing Intel® RealSense™ technology with an interactive facial recognition app through to an Internet of Things bubble machine which responded to the girls tweeting live from the event. It allowed us to open up a conversation about how Intel technology is helping in a real and meaningful way, such as our IoT work with Mimocare to help elderly people manage their illnesses better and stay at home for longer.

The demonstrations triggered lots of discussions and questions from 'Will Moore's Law become obsolete?' to 'If the planet Mercury was put on water would it float or sink?' - we'll leave that one for you to answer in the comments below but it really highlighted how much we were opening up the mind to what is possible in the sector for these young girls. We only wish we could have spent more time with the girls but were pleased to see that we were being invited to many schools for further discussion.

Looking to the Future

An inspirational day finished up with prizes being distributed by Intel for the best questions which included Intel NUC kits while each of the 20 schools also received an Intel Galileo board. We're looking forward to not only following up on the innovations created by the prize-winners but hope to see some of the girls attending the event playing a big role in the future of our sector soon.

Now, about that Mercury question, if the planet was put on water would it float or sink?