Event aims to inspire young females to become great thinkers of tomorrow

Date posted

7 December 2016


Last updated

19 March 2020

Female primary pupils from across Edinburgh have been given an insight into a range of cyber, IT and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at an event aimed at inspiring them to become the great thinkers of tomorrow.

Hosted by Edinburgh Napier’s Cyber Academy, more than 90 P7 girls from Abbeyhill, Blackhall, Bonaly, St Mary’s and Leith primary schools attended the event which brought together a host of exhibitors, keynote speakers and interactive workshops with a view to encouraging more girls into STEM careers.

The pupils heard from keynote speakers Professor Emma Hart, Director, Centre for Algorithms, Visualisation and Evolving Systems at Edinburgh Napier and CEO of Glasgow-based Digital Connextions Kirsty Mitchell who shared their inspiring experiences and journeys within STEM so far.

A range of interactive workshops was also held across the day, with pupils learning more about the industries through sessions with the University’s School of Computing Games Laboratory and Lego. They also received a beginner’s guide to cryptography - the art of both writing and solving codes – from Professor Bill Buchanan. Key exhibitors were also on-hand to share their own experiences of working within STEM with the enthusiastic pupils.

Lynn Crawford, project manager at Edinburgh Napier’s Cyber Academy, said: “Inspiring the next generation of young women to gain an interest in STEM subjects, Cyber and IT is a key aim of both the Cyber Academy and Edinburgh Napier as a whole and we were delighted to welcome so many enthusiastic pupils keen to learn more about these key areas.

“The spread of interactive workshops, keynote speakers and exhibitors was designed to shine a spotlight on some of the potential career opportunities available to women within STEM. The University has a vital role to play in allowing this to happen and the more we can do to spread knowledge with those interested in becoming the next great scientist or technologist of tomorrow at a young age, the greater benefit that will be felt in future years.”

Edinburgh Napier currently holds an Athena SWAN bronze award which recognises its work on gender equality and supporting women’s careers in STEM. It is a parent organisation and partner of Girl Geek Scotland (GGS); an organisation which enables women to develop a career-long mutual support network through dinners, fundraisers, business breakfasts, research projects and skills workshops.

The University also recently celebrated Ada Lovelace Day – an annual event which aims to increase the profile of women in STEM – by hosting a guest lecture from Professor Caroline Wilkinson who shared insight on her pioneering forensic anthropology work where she depicts faces for identification purposes.

The Cyber Academy at Edinburgh Napier University is a leading independent and impartial source of skills and knowledge on cyber security, supporting Scotland’s businesses and communities to be secure and successful online. It works with a range of companies and organisations on understanding and mitigating risks, and on designing effective measures for prevention, detection, investigation and incident response. It has led the way in building national security capability with our work with law enforcement, industry and higher education institutes.

School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

According to the Research Excellence Framework in 2021, we are the number one Scottish Modern University for research in Computer Science & Informatics, Engineering and for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning.