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UTC Reading partners with Abbey School to encourage more girls into tech

Abbey School students got a taste of UTC Reading life when they took part in a computing lesson on AI.

A group of students from The Abbey School, Reading, joined our Director of Computer Science, Robert Bradley, on a journey into AI with the Sage Foundation’s FutureMakers course, on Friday, October 15.

This was the first project with The Abbey school for girls, part of UTC Reading and Sage’s outreach programme to support getting more girls into tech.

FutureMakers is a worldwide programme which aims to build skills for the future by teaching young people how to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve real world problems.

As well as having the opportunity to play with Amazon's translation and recognition software, Abbey's students were asked to come up with their solution to one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals using AI. The 17 goals set out call for action on things like poverty and hunger, gender equality and cleaner water. 

Robert was especially impressed with one of the solutions the students came up with.

"I particularly liked the Voice Me App which would help autistic people with understanding either their own mood, or the tone of someone's voice to help understand their mood or meaning," he said.

Robert stressed that all students came up with brilliant solutions including:

  • The Maro bot, designed to clear the oceans of oil and plastics, based around a company which championed gender and ethnicity equality as part of its core values
  • The Matrix App, a petition app that is accessible through its use of both physical magazines alongside the app, that uses AI to challenge the usual social media bubble by actively showing oppositional views too
  •  The TeacherBot, a robot designed to move around offering education to home-schooled children, or those in areas where quality teachers are not available, that would use AI to offer suitable topics and difficulties.

UTC Reading’s Year 10 students will complete this course over the next couple of weeks as part of their Computing courses and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

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