As Microsoft we are keen advocates of STEM education: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These fields are essential for the era of AI, the age of Copilot, innovation, creativity, and problem-solving in our world. At Microsoft NL, we are passionate about inspiring and empowering the next generation of leaders in STEM fields. That’s why we created Dream Space, a place where young people can learn, explore, and create with technology.
What is Dream Space?
Dream Space is a free educational program that offers coding-for-good workshops for students, aged 8 and up, in the Netherlands. The workshops are designed to link technology to real-world challenges and encourage participants to use technology creatively to make a positive impact. The workshops are based on research that aims to improve students’ STEM skills as well as their social-emotional skills, such as empathy, creativity, ethical decision-making, and collaboration.
Dream Space also supports teachers to enable their students to learn actively with innovative tools and methods, and to integrate computational thinking and 21st-century skills into their own lessons.
Why do we need Dream Space?
With Dream Space we aim to make technology more attractive and inspire children to pursue the digital side of learning. We believe that every student in the Netherlands should have the opportunity to pursue a STEM career and know the various paths to get there. However, there are some challenges that we need to overcome:
- In the Netherlands, only 16% of technical and IT professionals are currently women. This means that women are missing out on the benefits of tech occupations, such as better job security and higher salaries.
- There is a shortage of workers for technical occupations in Europe. The European Commission estimates that the demand for STEM workers will increase by 8% between 2013 and 2025, while the supply will increase by only 3%. We need every talent!
- Diverse teams develop better solutions. Technology is becoming increasingly important in our lives, and we want inventors and creators to reflect the diversity of society.
To address these challenges, we need to prepare today’s students for the jobs of the future. We need to inspire them to be curious, creative, and confident with technology. We need to show them the possibilities and opportunities that STEM fields offer.
How can you join Dream Space?
Dream Space is open to primary schools, secondary schools, and special education. It is our ambition that in the next five years, every student will have followed a Dream Space workshop. Over the last few months, we have welcomed 500 children to our Dream Space program in our office. This school year we expect to have hosted between 3.000 – 4.000 children. With digital content we expect to increase the number even more!
Are you a teacher and do you want to visit Dream Space with your class? Fill out the registration form and we will contact you as soon as possible: https://forms.office.com/r/PUqMwDPw9R
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Dream Space where you can discover the wonders of STEM and unleash your potential.
Anke Den Ouden, CEO & Dagmar Lens, Education Director
Microsoft The Netherlands.
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