Prince Harry and Meghan Markle encourage young women’s STEM ambitions
Image credit: Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA Wire
The soon-to-be-married royal couple used a rainy visit to Birmingham to encourage young female students to pursue their ambitions of working in STEM careers.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle were chauffeured to Millennium Point in Birmingham, where they joined 90 students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School. Sitting at tables, they joined the students with building apps and touchpads, learning HTML, editing websites with a programme called ‘Hack the Web’ and admired a piano and other instruments made from bananas. Both Prince Harry and Ms Markle donned virtual-reality headsets during the visit.
The pair listened as the dozens of young women told them about their career choices in STEM fields, and encouraged them to pursue these ambitions. The couple – who are due to marry in May – said that they were impressed with the students’ technical abilities.
The event was run by STemettes, which was set up by former child prodigy Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon in 2013 to support young women entering STEM careers, where they remain severely under-represented.
“How many photos do you have of princesses doing technical things? You barely see pictures of women doing technical things, let alone princesses. You can’t be what you can’t see,” Imafidon commented at the event.
During the visit, which was intended to mark International Women’s Day, Prince Harry and Ms Markle also awarded prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition on the subject of their women role models.
The pair left Millennium Point with goody bags that bore the slogan, “I’m not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag”. Following the event, the pair went on for a walkabout meeting to greet the crowds in Birmingham.
During a school visit in February, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and second in line to the throne, took the opportunity to speak out about cyberbullying and the impact of social media on mental health to young students.