ON Tuesday, 11 October, EY launched the EY STEM App to Jersey College for Girls. The App aims to inspire girls 13-18 years of age to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.

600 students at Jersey College for Girls welcomed Margo Blondel, EY’s Marketing and Business Development Senior Manager and CR Champion as their guest speaker at their school assembly. Margo explained to the girls and teachers that the EY STEM App is a free innovative gamified mobile platform for girls aged 13-18, which aims to identify, inspire and empower the next generation of girls in STEM careers.

EY is launching the App across the world and the firm is aiming to reach 100,000 girls by the end of the year. The App was created to support EY’s plans to support the next generation of young people and positively impacting a billion lives by 2030 through their EY Ripples corporate responsibility programme.

Margo explained why it was so important that the App is launched in the Channel Islands:

“It is amazing to be able to offer local girls the opportunity to complete activities on the App that were developed in collaboration with some of the world´s most respected non-profit and academic institutions, including NASA, the UNDP, Stanford University and the World Economic Forum. Women and girls lived experiences and perspectives need to be included when solutions are being found to the world’s problems, which are increasing technology led. Igniting the girls’ interests in STEM and building their skills is vital to closing the gender gap and creating a more social just world.”

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.

Adam Sykes, JCG’s Employability Coordinator and Head of Physics was delighted to launch the App in the school and commented: “The App presents amazing opportunities for our students. They all seem really keen to get involved. We’re delighted with the opportunities provided by EY and thank them for this fantastic global link.”

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 digital vouchers, mentoring and work shadowing with women who have forged successful careers in STEM fields, and also options to donate to a charity they feel passionate about.

EY has been working with Skills Jersey to provide all Jersey secondary schools with access to the App. They urge parents and carers to get in touch if their child is interested in gaining access to the App, as they would like as many girls to benefit from the resources and rewards as possible.