EY Australia aims to inspire 5000 girls in 2022 to pursue a career in STEM with free mobile app

EY Australia announces the EY STEM App will be rolled out with local support, following a successful pilot in the US and India. The free app aims to inspire girls 13-18 years of age pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.

Expressions of interest are now open for schools and non-profit organisations (working with female students aged 13 -18) wanting to receive access codes to activate the app’s user Rewards and full features, including digital gift vouchers to leading retailers, as well as mentoring opportunities with EY mentors and workshops planned for June 2022. 

EY teams are  hoping to reach at least 5,000 girls throughout Australia and New Zealand and with roll out of the app via schools and non-profit organisations wishing to participate.

There is no cost to either participating organisations or those downloading the app.

The move aligns with EY plans to support the next generation of young people and positively impacting one billion lives by 2030 through the EY Ripples corporate responsibility program.

The EY STEM App was developed by EY teams in collaboration with SkillsVR, an organisation dedicated to developing potential talent through immersive learning. It features modules and activities focused on science, such as climate change or space exploration; technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing or blockchain; the future of work and skills that may be required for future, yet-to-be-defined jobs; and inspirational stories of women in STEM.

The app is sponsored by the EY Women in Technology program, which was formed to create an inclusive culture to successfully harness technology’s potential.

Activities on the app were developed in collaboration with some of the world´s most respected non-profit and academic institutions, including the UN and World Economic Forum. All activities are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals they directly impact, allowing girls to earn Global Goals digital badges as they progress.

Claire Boussioutas partner, EY Australia, said advancing girls’ skills and interest in STEM is vital to closing the gender gap in technology.

“In a world increasingly enabled by technology it is crucial that girls and women participate in a meaningful way at the leadership levels of organisations to ensure the best possible outcomes,” said Ms Boussioutas. 

“We’re encouraged by the success of the EY STEM App so far and rolling out the app locally will contribute to making STEM learning more accessible and rewarding for girls here.

“The ABS recently reported that only 28 per cent of roles in STEM are performed by women in Australia, while key management roles sit at 23 per cent, so the development and rollout of initiatives like the EY STEM App is crucial when skills shortages have never been higher and competition for talent has never been more fierce,” said Ms Boussioutas.

The app reached more than 7000 girls when piloted across New Delhi, Seattle and Atlanta, and as the app is rolled out locally, EY teams are  calling on schools, and non-profit organisations to facilitate participation, which allows users to activate the rewards feature for as many girls as possible.

Gamified content and incentivised learning 

The free-to-use app connects girls with a wide range of learning activities from exploring new technologies, such as AI and blockchain, to learning how design thinking can help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Supported by inspirational stories of pioneering women, the app aims to not only nurture confidence and competence in STEM, but also the development of capabilities such as critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity and systems thinking, and social skills and teamwork.

Hundreds of individual activities — each broken into bite-size steps, such as watching a video, answering thought-provoking questions or carrying out an experiment — support self-directed learning that empowers girls to choose what, how and when they learn to build a real sense of accomplishment and confidence with the completion of each step.

Girls are also encouraged to take real-life actions beyond the phone app, such as interviewing members of their community, applying design thinking to solve community problems and conducting experiments, such as building a solar oven with household items.

As they complete more activities on the app, girls become eligible to receive a range of incentives, including mentoring with women who have forged successful careers in STEM fields.

A successful pilot

The EY STEM App pilot in New Delhi, Seattle and Atlanta involved more than 50 schools and non-profits, with 91,000 activity steps completed, 600 rewards won and around $10,000 donated to charities. Nearly one million minutes of “real-life actions” were taken by girls to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The pilot also received recognition from the Nobel Prize Summit, the UN Global Compact on Gender Equality, the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, the International Centre for Research on Women and the UN SDG Festival.

Expressions of interest from schools and non-profit organisations can be registered HERE

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