Robots help launch new Girlguiding Scotland digital badge



Robots from Heriot-Watt University helped Girlguiding Scotland launch the first digital activity badge.

The new badge, created in partnership by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Education Scotland, is to encourage girls of all ages to develop the skills they need for their digital future.

A group of Girlguides came to the university to meet students and some of the robots involved in AI (artificial intelligence) research to launch the new badge.

Professor David Lane, Founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, said: “We were delighted to help Girlguiding Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and Education Scotland launch this new digital badge.

“Here at Heriot-Watt University we have a long history of encouraging girls to get involved in AI and STEM subjects which are all part of the digital skills revolution.”

Research by Girlguiding has highlighted that science and technology still continue to be perceived as more male subjects, with one in two girls saying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects were 'more for boys' while only 37 per cent of girls said they would consider a job in tech. 

The Digital Scotland Challenge badge aims to change those perceptions and will teach young girls about computers, algorithms, creativity and design, and computational thinking, as well as highlighting career options in the industry.

Kimberley Chatt, Guide leader and the charity's lead volunteer for digital said: “We know there is a world of opportunities for girls to discover in science and tech, but women continue to be under-represented in these fields.  I hope initiatives like this will inspire and equip a whole generation of girls to make the most of their digital future. I know my Guide unit can't wait to give it a go!”