EY Ireland has announced the launch of the EY STEM App which will be rolled out across the Republic of Ireland, following a successful pilot in the US and India. Through the app, which is aimed at girls aged between 13-18 years, EY Ireland is hoping to reach and inspire at least 5,000 young women throughout Ireland to pursue STEM careers across science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Ireland is the first of seven new countries to launch the EY STEM App, with six other countries including Canada, the UK, UAE, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, following suit throughout 2022.
The EY STEM App was developed by EY 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.
Helena O’Dwyer, EY Ireland Associate Partner and Head of Strategy, EY-Parthenon, said “Advancing girls’ skills and interests in STEM is vital to closing the gender gap in technology. It’s crucial that women and girls have the opportunity to realise their full potential as leaders and change-makers in a world increasingly enabled by technology. We’re proud to be rolling out this app here in Ireland as we think it has the real potential to make STEM learning more accessible and rewarding for thousands of girls. The CSO recently reported that only 25% of roles in STEM are performed by women in Ireland so the development and rollout of this app is not only incredibly timely but also crucial when skills shortages have never been more prolific and competition for talent has never been more fierce”
The free-to-use app connects girls with a wide range of learning activities from exploring new technologies, 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 One4All Vouchers, options to donate to their favourite charities and the opportunity to engage in training programmes with EY Ireland’s technology and data analytics teams. This will include virtual and in-person access to the world class EY wavespace innovation centre in Dublin.
Eoin O’Reilly, EY Ireland Partner and Head of Data Analytics added, “The EY STEM App is a fantastic programme to support young girls and foster their interests in STEM subjects. The ability to pique the interest of girls at a young age, during the height of their education, is undoubtedly the best way to mobilise interest in a traditionally under-represented career path among women. I hope the EY STEM App will help girls of all ages embrace careers in STEM, and as the programme grows I hope it continues to help girls in Ireland and around the world navigate real-world challenges. There has never been a more important time to encourage more women to build their careers in STEM, especially given the crucial role they play, and will continue to play, in the development and future growth of our economy here in Ireland.”
The EY STEM App is sponsored by the EY Women in Technology programme, which was formed to create an inclusive culture to successfully harness technology’s potential to truly transform society. Activities on the app were also developed in collaboration with some of the world´s most respected non-profit and academic institutions, including the UN and World Economic Forum. In addition, all activities are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals they directly impact, allowing girls to earn Global Goals digital badges as they progress.