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Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Posted on November 24th 2017

Leslie Invents Virtual Reality Game

Leslie (left)Leslie in Year 10 is a real STEM inspiration. She has been working on her own Virtual Reality (VR) and Tech projects, and is now leading her own sessions at our KS4 STEM club.

She's pictured here with Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder of Stemettes, who was awarded an MBE this year for services to young women and STEM sectors. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths.

During the summer Leslie applied for a STEM programme run by Acorn Aspirations, a group of entrepreneurs, mentors and educators who want to empower young people aged 12-18 to gain the skills they need to change the world with technology.

Virtual reality game

“I wanted to learn entrepreneurial skills and explore in-depth how to create a virtual reality game,” says Leslie. “During the summer I met a group of young people who also had the same passion for VR and we created a game called Eduscape. This is an app that helps teens develop their interest in maths while making it fun.”

As part of the programme Leslie also learned how to pitch her ideas to investors and other entrepreneurs, and how to make sure that when developing an idea she considers the customers’ needs and what will make them happy.

“I learned about product design and collaboration skills”, she says. “The best things about Acorn Aspiration is that I have the opportunity to pitch and have constant meet-ups to help me improve. Currently, it’s a work in progress but I love the idea that I am currently working on.”

Pitching her ideas

Elena Sinel, founder/CEO of Acorn Aspirations has been very impressed with Leslie. “When I interviewed her, she mentioned she really wanted to learn about VR and was keen to independently explore Unity, a web platform where you can develop games and VR experiences. During the Accelerator programme she spent two weeks developing Eduscape with two other members of her team. She also met over 20 entrepreneurs and speakers and learned the process of developing a digital product.”

Following the Accelerator, Leslie and her team had an opportunity to pitch her Eduscape idea at the WomenInGames conference and also at a Demo Day taking place at Wayra Accelerator/Telefonia. She also pitched her idea to industry leaders and investors at the Youth and Innovation Conference.

By 2020 there will be more than 2 million jobs in tech. As things stand, most of these jobs will not be filled as the UK is struggling to bridge the digital skills gap, says Elena. “We need more young people, girls in particular, to embrace digital skills to drive our economy forward. I am incredibly impressed with Leslie's enthusiasm and I feel she is a great example and a role model for other girls.”