On November 24, 2018, in BKH-Up Co-working space, a ceremony too place to launch the Youthspark scholarship project. This project aims to “promote the interest and participation of female students in science and innovation through STEM education and digital skills”. Training camps for STEM Ambassadors also took place during this time. The event was organized under the cooperation of Microsoft Vietnam, CED, the British Council and BK-Holdings.

During the ceremony, there were 80 female students studying a Computer Science and Technology major from 9 universities and colleges in 5 cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Can Tho, Hue and Da Nang. Besides scholarships, students also received training on “Artificial Intelligence & IoT” and STEM.

During the training on “Artificial Intelligence & IoT”, Microsoft Vietnam provided an overview of artificial intelligence, how Microsoft applies artificial intelligence to its services and the potential of AI in the future. This training not only gave the students an impression of the power of AI and how Microsoft applies it, but also raised questions around the threat of AI as well as whether this is the last chance for Vietnam to catch up with global trends in AI development. Nguyen Thi Tam, University of Information and Technology in Ho Chi Minh City, stated, “I feel that AI is like a child, the potential is great but we need to carefully consider the process of development and how it should be applied. For example, in the field of military weapons, using AI could pose a big threat”.

The STEM training session used games and was dynamically led by Professor Neil. The “Trial” model and gender equality issues were two particular highlights of this section. Nguyen Thi Nhu Y, Ho Chi Minh Polytechnic student, stated: “Neil is amazing! He was great at teaching the session’s content and conveyed it really well to students”. After the training, many students were inspired and now have the desire to share their interest in STEM with their friends and others around them.

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