British technology firm, UKFast, is teaming up with Girlguiding to create a digital challenge badge, engaging and educating girls in different areas of digital technology.
With the Girlguiding programme undergoing an evolution this year to reflect a changing society, the badge is designed with an emphasis on STEM learning and hands-on activities relevant for a digital world.
The badge is available to Guide units globally and offers an introduction to the hardware and processes underpinning computing and the internet, basic coding skills, app development and knowledge about staying safe online and spotting fake news.
UKFast engineers have overseen the creation of the badge content and the company is supporting the launch of the digital challenge badge by hosting and facilitating a number of ‘digital parties’ at the purpose-built training labs within its Manchester HQ.
Guide units are invited to the digital parties to be inspired by UKFast’s engineers and trainers and take part in coding workshops, they also have the chance to enjoy a ride on the firm’s famous 50ft slide. The first of the digital parties took place with Guides and leaders from 2nd Northenden Guides. Activities required for completion of the challenge badge can be done anywhere, with few technical resources, ensuring it is accessible to all.
Girlguiding divisional commissioner Pam Plummerm said: “We challenge the girls to get out there and try something different while giving them fantastic opportunities along the way.
“Girlguiding is evolving as the needs of girls have changed and that’s why challenge badges like these are so important. We like to tread new ground and dare to do new things and challenge the girls.
“Working with partners like UKFast encourages the girls to work towards taking on roles in industries where female leadership and skills are urgently required. Qualities we nurture in the girls include leadership, vision, confidence and team building, all of which are required for the modern workplace.”
UKFast MD Gail Jones, added: “It’s fantastic to see badges move on since my time in Brownies and Guides, when my first badge was Homemaker.
“So I am thrilled we are able to help give the girls a taste of our digital world and to see how exciting a career in tech could be. We’ve created a practical badge that develops skills that are invaluable to our industry that sadly aren’t being taught in schools to the standards that we need. I can’t wait to see the girls’ feedback.”
UKFast works with 60,000 students from more than 60 educational institutions across Greater Manchester. The firm’s commitment to transforming tech education has seen their bid to open a digital-focussed school in partnership with the Dean Trust approved by the government.