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Microsoft today hosted 60 students from St. Laurence’s Boys National School, Stillorgan and TY students from Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway at its new innovation and education hub, DreamSpace, at its campus in Leopardstown, One Microsoft Place.

These students are the first to have the opportunity to participate in a fully immersive technology experience which has been developed by Microsoft in Ireland to inspire, encourage and challenge students at primary and secondary level to further develop their digital skills.

David Walsh (10) and Cian O’Beirne (10) from St. Laurence’s Boys National School, Stillorgan

Microsoft has invested €5m to develop DreamSpace and is committed to bringing 100,000 primary and Transition Year students and their teachers to One Microsoft Place over the next four years to participate in the DreamSpace experience. Students and teachers who visit will leave equipped with critical collaborative, problem-solving and learning skills that will help them to participate fully in today’s and tomorrow’s digital world. By Engaging students in a series of creative and innovative tasks, Microsoft is hoping to shift their perception about the role technology will play in their future.

The experiences undertaken by students visiting DreamSpace will be highly interactive and will evolve as new technology and tools come on stream. Students will undertake experiences in emerging technologies such as AI, AR, VR and demonstrate how through these technologies robotics can be brought to life – encouraging the students to consider how it can be applied to help address real-world issues facing society today.

Commenting at the launch of DreamSpace today, Minister Bruton said: “This Government has very ambitious plans in the area of STEM, as part of our overall goal to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.

“In that context, I’m delighted to join Microsoft in officially opening DreamSpace this morning. Having joined primary and TY students in their immersive DreamSpace experience this morning, I am confident that every child who has the opportunity to visit will leave here inspired to embrace STEM subjects and to get the best start in a world where digital skills are key to success.”

“I would like to thank Microsoft for its consistent support and investment in the education space over the years and welcome this further investment in creating a unique space for students across Ireland.”

Speaking at the first session at DreamSpace today, Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland said: “At Microsoft, we’re determined to open everyone’s eyes and minds to how technology can help our young people to not only imagine a better future but to build it. With digital transformation a reality of every aspect of our personal and professional world’s today, it is important that young people understand the power of technology at the earliest opportunity.  We want them to understand that it is not just the power of technology that is important but rather the power of technology together with their own imagination. The combination of the two will help to shape, change, protect and improve our world and our society for generations to come. We want to ensure that all our young talented people in Ireland understand, appreciate and maximise the role that they can play in the development of their own future.”

“That’s why we’ve invested €5m in the creation of a dedicated innovation and education hub, DreamSpace at our new campus at One Microsoft Place. As a physical embodiment of our own transformation as a company, our new building is the perfect place to give our children the knowledge to feed their curiosity and push the boundaries of what can be done, both today and tomorrow.”

The investment in DreamSpace in Ireland is just another example of the company’s commitment to ensuring that young people not only participate in today’s digital age but also help create tomorrow’s digital world. Over the coming months and years, the Microsoft team will welcome teachers, youth leaders and children to help equip them with the skills and ambition to encourage them to unlock the opportunities that digital transformation offers and strengthen Ireland’s position as a European digital leader.

Microsoft experts have developed and will deliver the DreamSpace experience as well as coordinating visits and ensure that each experience is tailored based on age, skills level and areas of interest. During the school term time, DreamSpace will facilitate visiting school groups from across Ireland. During school holidays youth groups will have the opportunity to avail of the DreamSpace experience.

For those school or youth groups excited by the opportunity of joining Microsoft on the journey, you can register for a captivating DreamSpace experience at www.dreamspace.ie.

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