Utrecht, 7 April 2022 – Technology and youth are central to the Netherlands in April. Tuesday, April 7th, is again Girls’ Day at the initiative of VHTO. Across the country, science, technology and IT companies and corporate technical or IT departments are opening their doors to girls aged 10-15 to introduce and spark their interest in science, technology and IT. A week later, on April 13, a second youth event follows: the final of the 4th Raspberry Pi School Competition. Two much-needed events at a time when artistic talent is most needed.
Knowledge of technology and digital skills have never been more important to society. Whether it is developing vaccines, combating climate change or boosting the energy transition – we urgently need the innovative capacity of young people to meet all of these complex societal challenges.
“The annual Raspberry Pi competition is organized to get students excited about technology by challenging them to make inventions that benefit society,” says Mark Gripp, President of PA Consulting Netherlands, initiator of the school competition. “Young people are not like other people who are able to come up with inspiring and relevant solutions to complex problems, because they often think in terms of possibilities rather than limitations.”
But to overcome societal challenges, solutions must also reflect society. This requires participation among all residents. But unfortunately, women are still underrepresented in technology sectors that play such a critical role in the innovation process.
“The number of girls and women choosing a technical study or career has been incredibly low for years,” says Rian van Heur, VHTO communications consultant and Girls’ Day project manager. This is exactly why initiatives such as Girls’ Day and the Raspberry Pi contest are so important – activities where young people work with technology and also see its social significance. Research shows that the sooner young people connect with technology, the more they become familiar with it and choose a technology direction. This is especially important for girls.”
Curious about these initiatives? Read more about Girls’ Day here and learn all about the Raspberry Pi contest here.
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