Microsoft is expanding its Dream Space hub in Dublin, which provides an immersive learning space to help students develop their tech skills.
Microsoft is planning to invest further in its Dream Space initiative so that it can potentially reach 1m children in Ireland with its digital skills and STEM education programmes.
Dream Space is a hub based at the company’s campus in Leopardstown, Co Dublin. Since its opening in 2018, it has served more than 130,000 children through virtual and in-person sessions.
Microsoft initially invested €5m in the project with the intention of providing digital and STEM skills to children, as well as resources for their teachers and parents.
It now plans to invest another €3m into Dream Space over the next four years.
The expansion means the tech giant will provide a suite of new offerings including Dream Space Academy for primary school ages, Dream Space Academy for post-primary schools, the Dream Space Digital Academy, and updates to Dream Space Teacher and Dream Space TV.
These programmes aim to expose young people to computer science, AI, mixed reality and robotics. They will be delivered by a team of five teachers who work for Microsoft in virtual, in-person and on-demand formats.
“Dream Space has developed a particularly strong track record of engaging girls in STEM education and helping them to see the many opportunities for STEM-related careers in Ireland’s digital economy,” said Minister for Education Norma Foley, TD.
“Building on that track record will be key to ensuring that every student is equipped with the skills they need to participate fully in our digital world.”
James O’Connor, Microsoft Ireland site leader and VP of Microsoft business operations international, added that the company is “deeply committed to helping young people to engage in STEM learning and shift their perceptions about the role technology can play in their future career choices.”
Microsoft’s expansion of Dream Space comes after STEM education outreach organisation I Wish published its annual report. It found that teen girls in Ireland are increasingly looking towards STEM careers, with 93pc of girls surveyed rejecting the stereotype that such careers are more suited to boys.
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