Rolls-Royce uses gaming to power STEM recruitment drive

Hackathon seeks to encourage under-represented demographics into gaming and app development

Rolls-Royce is using an unusual tactic to encourage women and non-binary individuals to jump on tech careers.

The manufacturer hosted a hackathon last weekend in which 95 young coders were given the opportunity to develop gaming apps to encourage others to jump on the STEM wagon. It's part of the company's mission to inspire 25 million people to consider careers in technology and engineering.

Catalyst Hack was organised by Rolls-Royce's R2 Data Labs, with participants mentored by a host of female tech stars, including Roberta Lucca, co-founder of BAFTA-award winning gaming company Bossa Studios.

"There's never been a more exciting time to work in STEM, but we can only address our biggest tech opportunities if we work collaboratively, embrace new ideas, and create space for diverse perspectives," Caroline Gorski, Group Director, R2 Data Labs at Rolls-Royce said. "Making our industry more inclusive is a real game changer. If this weekend's creators can inspire a new generation of STEM women, we all benefit."

Custodian was crowned champion of the Catalyst Hack for its 3D open world game, which focuses on developing a sustainable future through making conscious decisions.

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"Games are such a powerful channel for inspiring young people," Roberta Lucca, Co-founder, Bossa Studios said. "They evoke emotional responses which can change lives. Seeing the 17 games here at the Catalyst Hack, I'm impressed at how much has been achieved in one weekend. It goes to show what you can do when you have the right people in the room with the right mission."

R2 Data Labs will be launching other activities over the next ten years to encourage young people to consider STEM careers, including the Tomorrow's Engineers robotics challenge, Scout and Girlguiding science and innovator activities, STEM with the Prince's Trust and the Rolls-Royce young apprentice programme.

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